by Ted Iverson
I had been away from In Print and writing due to other obligations and was happy to hear that at November’s meeting, which I finally was able to attend, our speaker would be Lisa Roettger. I was even more enthused when I heard that she would be speaking about editing. I for one, am always in need of editing advice. I felt that this was a good way to kick start my writing process again considering that I actually am in the middle of getting my second book reedited. Here are some of the things Lisa touched base on.
Before looking for an editor one should know as much about the craft of writing as possible. There several ways to do this: Read good writing, take writing classes, read books about writing, join writing groups, and join critique groups. These are just some of things we can do. After finishing your manuscript, revise as many times as necessary. Do your best to make it good. Then mentally prepare yourself for the edit. The edit may seem brutal but remember that we hire editors to make our novel the best it can be.
Lisa touched base on why we need an editor and then shared a quick story. She then went on to tell us the different types of editors. She explained the popular types, Developmental, Copy, Substantive, but there are many more. A lengthy discussion of the importance of Developmental Editor ensued. Many great questions were asked.
Our speaker then explained that the most editors are now using the Microsoft Word program with track changes. She also explained why the use the tracker and the different ways, we as writers, can view the document as we go through the process. Next we went over briefly the contract.
Before we started Lisa gave us all a handout on her program. It contained much more info then we could cover in an hour program. I suggest that if you were not able to attend, you ask Lisa for a copy the next time you see her.
To wrap things up I’d say that Lisa was well prepared, covered a lot of ground, and answered all question with knowledge. After this month’s presentation I think that if you are approaching the editing stage of your novel it is imperative you search out an editor that is right for you. The extra cost will well worth the end product.
A thought from a personal experience: When you get your novel back from your editor it may look like you have failed when you see the tracking comments. BUT you have not. What follows will be part of the journey. Try editing the first few chapters, go back and read what you originally wrote, then read what your editor has helped you with, and it is only help. The difference will make you sit back with a grin, and you’ll understand the need for someone to guide you through the rough waters!!!
To end, I think at some point we should definitely revisit the editing process in another program.