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.
So a little update on what’s going on. I am currently uploading things and formatting everything.
Technically, the book is available for Kindle, HOWEVER, it has serious formatting issues and I have to fix them, so I will be doing this in the next few days. So if you happen to see anything, please do not buy anything yet. I am learning the ins and outs of uploading files to Amazon, (which is not at all like uploading comics, let me tell you).
For good the news, I just sent away for proofs for the paperback edition of the book, that’s going to take 2 to 3 weeks (barring any issues in customs) to get to me, then I will be reviewing it, likely crying and then making any last minute adjustments.
On a bright note? I am learning what order I have to do this process in and how long everything takes, which is why this book was my practise book. Not to worry, in a year or so I will go back and fix the silly little mistakes I made here as I will have learned more about editing and publishing .
Thanks for listening! I will keep everyone updated as I work on getting everything set to go.
This year the book that I will be editing is called “Who Would Destroy the Gods”
I have begun printing out the chapters and hope to have everything printed out by the end of the month.
I’m doing things a little bit differently. I already have a fully written story, now I need to make sure that its foundations are solid which means doing an outline and character sketches. I’ll be looking at the different aspects of the story and making sure that they gel the way they are supposed to.
As I work on the story I’ll first be updating everyone on the newsletter and then giving summary updates on the website. So stay tuned!
I’ve just begun to organize all of the writing. And by that, I mean that I’ve put all of the related material that I am currently working on into one folder, begun an “unsorted folder” and have a couple of other folders which are already dedicated to specific stories.
My plans are as follows, towards the end of editing with the publisher, I’m going to find out if there were any near misses. Books that were almost published but just didn’t quite work out. Either that or see if I can develop something further with this current story. From there I’ll plan further.
I’ve got a lot of books to go through. This means a lot of material. Either fully formed, or needing to be reconstructed from the ground up. It proposes a great creative challenge which both excites and scares me.
They say that an editor doesn’t have to be a writer. I would say that is sort of true to a point. But it really depends on what type of editing you’re performing. For your basic, in depth proofreader/grammar checker I would say, as long as you understand the basics, you can get by.
For doing what I’m doing? As I look over my dad’s book, I try to imagine what he was thinking when he was writing this. What was he trying to convey? With that mindset, I will be looking over what his editor has asked to be revised and respond how I think he’d have wanted to respond.
Luckily, I have known my dad my whole life and therefore I like to think that I knew him pretty well.
Good morning internet. It has been over a month since my last
confession I mean post. If all I had was writing, this would be unforgivable, but because I’m me I have non-writing commitments which also needed to be tended to. But now I’m back, and just in time.
July and August are being set aside to finish editing the book which will see publication this year. I’ll also be using this time to arrange a venue for a book launch in Vancouver and confirm with my Mother about one in Saskatoon at the same time (roughly).
The thing that gets me when I’m reading my dad’s work is that I begin to analyse it. It’s one thing to analyse a writer’s work and it’s an entirely different thing when you are analysing someone’s work who you knew very well. You begin to think about what they were thinking as they were committing the words to the page. How they felt, physically and mentally. How they perceived their roles in life and how they interacted with their friends and family. Please note, that while I do all of this, I still am able to enjoy the story for what it is. Entertainment. I merely get much more out of it than most people do.
This also reminds me that I need to go to the store to pick up paper, a black ink cartridge and a red pen….
So before my father’s death, he was in the process of working with a publisher to get his latest novel published. They were in the middle of editing. Now that he is gone, it’s up to me to make sure that the editing process is complete and that the novel gets published. This is the biggest hurdle. Getting the first novel published. As a writer, once your first novel is published it is both easier and harder to get more published. With your first book being published, you have proven that your work is worthy of publication and theoretically, it should be easier to get the next book published. That is unless more is expected of you.
As a child inheriting her father’s work all I know is that I can look at his work and possibly improve what I can so that it can be published. I am of the belief that you can fix most stories and make them publishable, even if it comes down to rewriting the story from the ground up.
Please note: because this is a journal/ process blog there may be half finished entries like this one. Because you, the audience, get to have the thoughts and feelings as they happen in an effort to keep this blog realistic. AKA: they aren’t all gems.