Sigh, I haven’t read much fiction recently. Well, that isn’t exactly true, I have been reading and editing a science fiction/fantasy book for an author. But I can’t review that book until it is ready for publication. I do hope that I will be asked to provide an editors review for it though. I’m sure I will. I’ve loved working on this project and it has been a learning and growing experience for me.
When I first began to work with this author I have to say, honestly, I was more of a copy editor than content editor. I still do a lot of copy editing, but, as I’ve worked my way through this book my commentary has become more about the plot lines, the character development and getting this author to show the story rather than tell the story. I know that I still have a long way to go to be a really good editor though.
Last year I read and reviewed the first book this author wrote in the series and I loved it. But apparently other readers not so much. So this second book in the series is getting more scrutiny. This is the second, or is it the third time I’ve read through the book. It is significantly different than the first read through. Plot development has expanded, the character development has transformed and there is a lot more showing than telling. I’m almost done with this round and hopefully it will be enough that a final read through will go fast with little change needed.
I am no professional by a long shot. But, when something just doesn’t flow I can feel it. At one point in the book there was a chapter that created some cognitive dissonance and I had to go back through it thoroughly to pick out why it wasn’t ringing true for me. The poor author is working on that chapter as I blog about it. I say poor author because I’m such a compassionate person that I feel sorry for the work that author is going through to make this book as good as it can be working with an amateur editor.
I’ve been an avid reader since I was a young child and I know when I read something I like and something I don’t like, but that does not an editor make. With experience I’m figuring out just what it is that makes me not like some things and it is often something that editing can fix. If I can’t read it with ease then something is wrong and it needs to be changed. It would be helpful to find more “what to look for” information in addition to the “how to” information available about editing. I’d love to learn to be an excellent editor. Where does one go to find bonafide editor training?
I still have a lot to learn and may never learn enough, but, in the mean time I do my best to help an author be better if not their best.