These past few blog posts have been about editing, and today I interviewed Brickley Jules who has had some
trouble experience with editors. I asked her some questions about her editing process, and what she went through to get some of her WIPS whipped into shape. Listen in!
Tell our readers what you’ve been working on.
I’ve been working on the next book in the Chrome Thunder series.
I’m curious about your editing process. How much editing do you do before you pass your work on to an editor?
I let it sit for a month or more before I even start editing. Then I read through it taking notes for character cards, setting cards, businesses cards, and a misc. catch everything else set of cards. I use those to add details and check consistency. After that’s done I read through it to catch typos and any plot holes that I may have missed. I fix all that and usually have a panicked epiphany of something I need to change or adjust through the whole novel. An example would be after doing a search I realize I used a word 300 times, and it’s not an invisible word. Finally, I read it out loud or use my laptop to read it to me.
How did you find your editor for Her Unexpected Life? What were your expectations? Had you worked with an editor before that point?
I posted on Facebook that I was looking for editor recommendations. I had no idea what to expect; this was my first experience with an editor. And actually, I hired them to help me with Out of the Blue, which is still not published.
How would you rate your experience with that editor?
As a person new to being edited I would give it a five out of ten. Sometimes things took longer than expected, with no deadline for return given. But as a more seasoned person, I would rate it even lower. I was really bothered by never knowing when I’d get my stuff back. Communication was lacking. I received little to no progress reports unless I asked directly, then the answer was vague.
In your opinion, did she make your novel better? Was there anything she brought to your attention that surprised you? Did she make your writing better overall?
My first novel was crap and needed lots of editing. So, I believe it was made better. I learned I love a sentence fragment.
Was there any feedback you didn’t agree with?
I questioned some things because it had been a few years since I wrote. (Where did double spaces go?) But for the most part, it was way better than what I started with. I questioned things in general because I was trying to study up as I went.
Through Facebook you found a different editor for Vested in Her. What made you change editors?
I used my original editor but also used a new one. The major deciding factor was my wait. I waited and waited for drafts to return just to question what was sent back.
Can you compare their styles? Was this editor better, worse, or the same?
The second editor flat out told me I was being lazy. My other editor never would have said that. I prefer the second one’s approach. I need the honest harsh truth. Deadpool style.
Cost is always a big factor when hiring out jobs. Was cost a factor for you when you hired these editors?
Yes. I’m on a shoestring budget and have to get the biggest bang for my buck. (The second editor was free but a close fit for my style of writing.)
Going forward, what will you look for in an editor?
Someone not afraid to throw punches.
Can you give our readers a few tips on how to find a good one?
Don’t be like me and just pick the first recommended to you. Ask them to sample edit for you. Ask a lot of them. You’re hiring them. You’re the boss. What would a boss ask and expect of you?
Thank you, Brickley! Finding an editor is a difficult process. I hope you can find someone to mesh with and maintain a strong relationship with that person going forward. I believe we all need editors to put our best work out there.