In my last post on editors, I talked about the last editor I worked with, and my experience with her. There was a lot of criticism – some warranted, some crushing, and some that left me with more questions than answers received.
Now I’d like to discuss the latest editor I worked with, and the night-and-day different experience I had with her.
I met my most recent editor through a friend. My friend, we’ll call him MV, is part of a Catholic Young Professionals group in Omaha. There he met a woman who had self-published two books. Through their conversation MV learned that this woman had her sister edit her books, and through several emails they put the two of us in contact.
I was skeptical at first, but sister of this editor has done exceptionally well for herself and her books are still selling. It helped that her price was a fraction of what most editors charge as she was just getting her editing services off the ground. Jackpot!
Over a four week period my editor and I worked through my manuscript, first two copy-edits, and the finally an in-depth content edit looking at story structure, flow, identifying plot holes, and strengthening certain points such as one main character’s growth from meek to strong and the culture of the fictional people I am writing about.
My most recent editor was very thorough with grammar and punctuation. She was able to catch quite a bit of what the previous editor and I had missed. My editor was also able to go through and help make sentences and even paragraphs more clear and concise to better get the story across to my reader.
Through the in-depth content edit, my editor identified areas of confusion which need clarification, and areas where the story was weak and need additional dialogue and/or description.
It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. While my story is now stronger, there were times I wasn’t sure about my most recent editor. In all edits, and especially the last, she gave me a lot of pumping up and “your story is great, you’re a great writer” type of compliments. While this is a stark contrast from my previous editor, I don’t think it’s what I need to hear. I needed a hard, critical perspective and many times it seemed I was being provided too much positive reinforcement in a place where it wasn’t warranted.
Sometimes too many compliments and the like can be debilitating to identifying problems and fixing them, in this case in my manuscript. It can lead us into believing we have a great story when, in fact, we don’t.
With my current editor I had to be even more critical of my work, and bring things up to her and try to have her look at them in different ways. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes she replied with, “I actually feel that’s really good and I don’t feel it needs to be changed.”
Regardless of whether it is actually good or not, she said things like that so often that my blood pressure spiked a little and, after our meetings, I would go back and comb through my manuscript more.
So maybe it was a good thing?
Most recently (within the last two years) I have had two very different editors. One was overwhelmingly critical and, after paying a hefty sum for a single edit, cut off her availability. The other was much cheaper, but the constant positive reinforcement on things I thought were wrong made me concerned about the quality of her edits. The result: I believe I have a completed, ready to publish manuscript. Unfortunately, these, and one other editor many many years ago, are the only benchmarks I have for what editors should be like.
After reading both posts, what are your thoughts on these two editors? What have been your experiences with editors? I’d also like to hear the thoughts of editors/agents in the business.
Until next time!. . .
Two friend of mine and I have started a podcast: The Glog! We delve into the geeky goodness of hobbying, conventions, Dropfleet Commander, and RPG characters. Join us as we set out on our podcasting adventure!
American Sniper Workout from T-Nation (modified).
Tuesday A.M. (7:13 A.M.)
Barbell Bench Press 3x 6, 6, 5 (245, 265, 275)
Face Pull 3x 15, 15, 15 (120, 140, 150)
Dumbbell Fly/Squeeze Press Combo 4x 8, 8, 8, 8 (35, 40, 45, 50)
T-Bar Row 4x 8, 8, 8, 8 (225, 270, 295, 295)
Tuesday P.M. (12:15 P.M.)
Cuban Press 3x 12, 12, 12 (25, 20, 20)
Seated Dumbbell Curl 3x 12, 12, 12 (45, 40, 40)
Cable Rear Delt Fly 3x 15, 15, 15 (20, 20, 20)
One Arm Incline Lateral Raise 3x 10, 10, 10 (15, 20, 20)
Seated One-Arm Dumbbell Palms Up Wrist Curl 3x 10, 10, 10 (35, 35, 35)
Seated One-Arm Dumbbell Palms Down Wrist Curl 3x 10, 10, 10 (30, 25, 25)
Push-Ups 3x 50, 45, 45
Plate Twist 3x 20, 20, 20 (25, 25, 25)
Jackknife Sit-Up 3x 10, 10, 10 (25, 25, 25)
After Work (3:40 P.M.)
3.2 Mile Run; 5min warm-up, 45sec sprints/1min jog, 9min cool down
I’m smoked after a 3-a-day today. But felt good to hit the treadmill and force myself to go faster than I can just running outside.
Started a new program: The American Sniper Workout from http://www.t-nation.com. Yesterday had to combine the AM and PM workouts, and it was heavily modified due to equipment available to me.
Leg Press 3x 10, 10, 10 (495, 585, 675)
Calf Press on Leg press machine 3x 10, 10, 10 (495, 585, 675)
Ankle Mobility Drill 2x 10/side, 10/side
One Legged Barbell Squat 3x 8, 8, 8 (115, 115, 115)
Farmer’s Carry (dumbbells) 3x 15yd, 15yd, 15yd (80, 80, 80)
Cable Rear Delt Fly Series (rear delt fly, upward shoulder rotation, row) 3x 6, 6, 6 (6 of each exercise in the series) (30, 40, 50)
Tricep Pushdown (rope attachment) 3x 15, 15, 15 (110, 130, 140)
Barbell Shrug 5x 10, 10, 10, 9, 4/8/8 (225, 245, 255, 265, 265/245/225) (last set was a drop set)
Side Laterals (Reverse 21s) 4x 21, 21, 21, 21 (25, 25, 25, 25)
Barbell Wrist Curl Over Bench 4x 15, 10, 10, 10 (45, 65, 65, 65)
So far so good. It’s different, and I’m enjoying the change up. Wish I had a trap bar where I am in order to do the workout right, but beggers can’t be choosers where I am. I will simply adapt and overcome.
That said I’m unsure if I should replace the Trap Bar Rack Pull with legs (leg press, front squat, etc.), or by simply doing deadlifts. We’ll see for next week’s Monday workout.
Chest day all over again.
Bench Press 5x 25, 12, 7, 5, 4 (135, 185, 225, 245, 245)
Incline Bench Press 4x 12, 12, 9, 8 (155, 165, 185, 185)
Dumbbell Flys 4x 15, 13, 12, 12 (45, 45, 45, 45)
Bent-Arm Pullover 4x 15, 15, 15, 15 (50, 50, 50, 50)
Slowly recovering strength in my chest. Gotta take the long-term view of my goals instead of the short term. Build a little more every week.
It was back day today.
11:50AM – My lunch break at work
25min run; 1/2mile warm-up, 2miles intermittent sprints (roughly 30/60s), 1/2mile cool down.
5PM-ish – After work and giving my wife some sugar
Deadlift 5x 12, 12, 10, 6, 7 (135, 225, 315, 365, 365)
Weighted Pullups 4x 10, 8, 8, 7 (45, 45, 45, 45)
Bent-Over Barbell Row 4x 12, 12, 12, 12 (225, 225, 225, 225)
Bent-Over One-Arm Long Bar Row 3x 10, 10, 10 (135, 160, 160)
I am dead. My run on my lunch break was my first run in about three weeks. I am finally over that chest cold and now I’m suffering to get back into shape.
Behind the Neck Barbell Shoulder Press 4x 10, 6, 8, 7 (135, 155, 145, 145)
Bradford Press 4x 10, 10, 8, 10 (95, 95, 95, 95)
Dumbbell Should Press 3x 10, 10, 9 (60, 60, 60)
Dumbbell Shrugs 3x 10, 12, 12 (100, 100, 100)
Dumbbell Lateral Raises (drop sets) 2x 12/10/10, 12/10/10 (35/30/25, 35/30/25)
Dumbbell Upright Rows 3x 10, 12, 12 (50, 50, 50)
Great Shoulder Day to wrap up the week.