21 June 2013

My Editor and Me

Thought I'd share about my experience working with an editor, just in case anyone else is contemplating this path.

 My editor isn't just any editor, she's one of my favorite authors. Even though it's usually full of things to do, I squee when I see a new message in my inbox from Rosina Lippi. You may be familiar with her pen name Sara Donati. Yes, THE author of the Into The Wilderness series. Turns out that in addition to being a wife, a mother, an author, a communications consultant, a researcher, she's also an editor. Beyond the squee factor, I chose to work with her because of her writing experience, her great stories, and her professionalism as witnessed from her weblog and services page.

A surprising thing, which shouldn't have been had I thought about it, is that she took the time to really understand what I wanted out of working with her. As time goes on, and her editing hours stack up, she continues to make sure that we are both efficient in improving my craft.

So far she's worked on the prologue and first chapter of my time travel story in its first revision form. I've worked on Akeva's story for a long time via Holly Lisle's How To Revise Your Novel course, so it was the one most polished.

I expected lots of issues to be highlighted most polished or not. Boy, did I deliver. Rosina pointed out some bad habits that I didn't realize I had. Like...

  • My words creep in and replace the characters' words.
  • I use adverb phrases.
  • I use more words than necessary.

I hadn't noticed those issues before. But now, I can now see these issues all over the place in my writing and am working to break these habits. I keep a cheat sheet next to me as I work to make sure that I work on those issues. I'm revising the next chapter with her comments in mind, then I'll send it to Rosina. We'll see how well I did.

I'm glad I took the plunge and engaged with Rosina. So much so, that I'm figuring out how to continue this relationship as I revise the rest of this story and future ones.

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