A Process Post

Most editors follow a similar process. Reading through slush piles, reading the manuscript, marking up the manuscript and then waiting for the author to respond.

My process is much different.

I have the slush pile that are my dad’s manuscripts. Some of the manuscripts are submission-ready and just need some fine tune editing while some manuscripts are nothing more than a few notes scribbled down on a scrap piece of paper.

Before I can even begin to edit the manuscript, I have to convert it into a format that I can edit it with. My father used numerous different word processing methods from writing to typewriter to electric typewriter to computer. With the computer he used numerous different programs including WordPerfect and AppleWorks. I’ve had to hack into these files because they don’t directly load into modern software. They first get loaded into a text editor before they get copied and pasted into my final editing program (in this case, I’m using Scrivener).

Then I need to fix all of the formatting errors that crept in due to incompatible fonts and things that the text editor couldn’t read.

Then I mark up the manuscript and then I need to let it rest for a couple of weeks before I do the revisions. I try to think, not about what I would put into the story, but what would my dad write. What did my dad want to say. I’m not going to lie, I have had some one-sided screaming matches while editing the stories. It’s a process.

My final stage is to get crits and beta readers to go over the manuscript for a final review.

The process is a little more like being an archaeologist than an editor but it’s not your average editing process, that’s for sure.