Thoughts on Editors

Page: 12


  1. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I'm reluctant to actually change a story in any significant structural way after it's been posted. That's always been the challenge of serial writing for me - no take-backs!

    That said, I've been really tempted with The Points Between. As an experiment in rewrote the prologue and first Chapter in present tense and it clicked in a way it hadn't before, and I find I REALLY WANT THAT CLICK.

    So maybe there are take-backs after all…

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  2. Dary (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    That's what I keep trying to tell people whenever they suggest I put stuff up on Amazon XD No one seems to realise just how much it would actually cost. I think I worked it out at around £100/chapter for me.

  3. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Hey, you could always try a Kickstarter campaign to fund the editing. I think Jim did a successful one semi-recently?

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  4. J.E.Hixon (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago maybe a cheap place. They have editors to look at your work when you have a paid membership. Maybe what you are looking for not sure though, I don't really know as I do not have a paid membership.

    Author of The Unseen War

    Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the story.
  5. ClearMadness (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I'm not too worried about proofreading, but rather the more structural stuff instead. I think Grammerly would be more proofreading.

    Author of The Iron Teeth, a online dark fantasy story.
  6. Billy Higgins Peery (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Chrysalis, when you say that editing for ebook is important, are you referring to proofreading? Or are you also talking about structural editing?

    "Any number of hitlers, are still not my problem." -Tempest
  7. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Like I said, it depends on how refined your 'default' writing is. Maddi can probably get away with 'just' a proofreader, but even Wildbow (whose writing we all adore) has done quite a bit of editing for the ebooks, as far as I know.

    Most writers have a hard time figuring out just how much editing they need. Any good editor will provide a free sample, so give it a try, I'd say. If you like the edited version better than the original, then there you go.

    You have a big advantage in that English is your first language. You know what 'good', published book level English sounds like. I wasted a lot of time believing my manuscripts were publication ready after the first edit, but boy was I wrong. Editor #1 did a LOT of amazing work, but even after she was done, my writing was still convoluted and wordy. I didn't realize this (because, well, I just don't have that native speaker's 'feel' for the language) until Zephy pointed it out in his first fifteen review.

    Now editor #2 (the kind soul that she is) is editing 16 hours a day to get my book ready for publication.

    On a related note:,233959.0.html

    All the self-publishers who don't commit 100% in terms of editing and covers end up regretting it. Mage Life sold decently on Amazon, but Tempest still regretted not getting it edited before publication.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  8. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 3 years ago

    My approach is fairly simple. It amounts to, "I'll fix it later." Later, as it turns out, is "before it gets published on Amazon."

    While a simple approach, it makes an assumption that is a little less simple: your medium determines what you need to do to the text before you publish it.

    The serial is its own thing. Serial readers are more forgiving of typos, grammatical errors and structural deficiencies (i.e. serials can sprawl) provided that each individual update is entertaining and feels like it moves the story forward. That's because the default experience of reading a serial is reading the day's update. That's true to a degree even when doing the initial archive crawl. Each new page load is its own world.

    By contrast, the novel is to the serial as the movie version is to the novel. It's going to be shorter, tighter, and more focused. It can't have a bunch of typos and grammatical mistakes because they knock you out of the story. Plus, unlike the serial, you have no idea where the person will stop and start. Every spot in the thing has to be good enough for the person to sink back into reading.

    That's why I have no issue with revising between serial and novel. While I'm pretty confident of the overall structure of what I write, I cut significant pieces of the story.

    I'm currently in the process of working on the third Legion novel. The second and third novel were at one point the serial's second arc. It was 240,000 words. I turned the first half into a 90,000 word novel and the second half (or third novel) will be from 90,000 to 100,000 words. That means I'll have cut 50,000-60,000 words between the two.

    Similarly, I completely rewrote the first two chapters of the second book as well as scattered chunks throughout. For what's worth, fans of the serial don't mind that. In fact, people are very curious to find out what you changed. Plus, if you do it right, I suspect people mostly won't notice what you've changed. Why? Because what you've removed is the stuff that slowed the story down, and even if they liked it, they really don't miss it.

    Also, for what it's worth, your audience for the serial is not the same as your ebook audience. Your serial audience is the relatively small group of people who love serials, and yours in particular. Many of them will never buy anything.

    Your audience for the novel is the potentially much larger group of people who want to buy an ebook and see yours on Amazon or some other store. This larger group wants a good story and won't be bugged at all if it's different from the serial. In fact, if stuff from the serial remains that makes the story worse, it will hurt you with that audience.

    Thus, I was extremely grateful that my Kickstarter (which was mostly supported by serial readers) paid for:
    1. The covers.
    2. The general editor (plot, characters, story, style, tone).
    3. The proofreader.

    For me at least, covers were around $500, general editor around $500, and proofreader around $250. You can get away with less.

    You can make the cover yourself if you're good enough at graphic design, and replace the general editor if you can find readers who are willing to tell you when it's not working, but it's very hard to substitute free help for a good proofreader.

    On the bright side, that's the cheapest part if you're willing to pay. That said, I'd only skip the editor and make my own cover if I were a professional or near to it OR had very little money to work with.

    Personally, I wouldn't pay to get the serial edited though, just the novel version.

  9. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Well, if that weren't long enough, I should add a couple more things.

    First, a good editor who can look at the work as a whole and suggest ways of fixing what you're doing wrong (in addition to noticing that you're doing something wrong), is very much worth hiring.

    Second, you probably have no idea how many typos you've made. I know that I didn't, and even though I went through the manuscript a few times looking for them, I still didn't find anywhere near all of them. That's despite the fact that readers pointed out typos regularly when the story was initially serialized.

  10. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Well I agree a copyeditor is necessary. I'm less convinced when it comes to a story editor. That said the Curve ball Omnibuses (Omnibi?) don't sell well so there you go.

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  11. Dary (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I imagine it depends on what you're writing. If you're writing a serial with an eye on novelising it later, you're probably more in need of a story editor than if you were writing a straight-up serial. They're different formats. And I doubt there are many editors out there who work with the serial format as standard. Mine is always asking questions because of the structural differences and because she knows I'll introduce characters or plot threads that won't be relevant for years, and needs me to clarify them XD

  12. Billy Higgins Peery (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    This is really good food for thought. Thanks, guys! Not 100% sure I'm going to go with a developmental editor, but I'm at least going to shop around and figure out my options.

    "Any number of hitlers, are still not my problem." -Tempest
  13. Emma (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    If you really don't know what level editor you need, some editors offer critiques to tell you what level you need. You'll have to pay for it, of course, but at least then you know where you stand and what to look for.


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