Editing: Polishing the Diamond in the Rough

Editing polishing the diamond

Last Thursday, it was my privilege to address the Utah Valley Writers on editing. The title of my presentation was Editing: Polishing the Diamond in the Rough. (Just a side note, if you would like me to address your school, class, writing group, or conference, please don’t hesitate to contact me). I promised the attendees (and my blog readers) that I would post some of the notes and other information on this site.

As presentations and blog writing are two different “beasts” I won’t post the PowerPoint without commentary.  So using that experience as a guide, I’ll write a series on editing. There, I covered tools of writing that, if employed, would make editing much easier, the different levels of editing, and finally finished up the lecture answering some questions that the members of the group provided on the difference between freelance editors and publishing house editors.

Please follow the links below to find the posts that cover this material. They will be highlighted once the section is live. I will change the order and some of the materials (adding some and deleting some) from the actual presentation (just a heads up for those that attended). As a reader of these posts, if you have any other questions that you have for the final section, please ask in the comments and I would be happy to answer them.

  • Levels of Edits
  • The First Draft Debate (free-write or outline)
  • Types of Writers (knowing your strengths and weaknesses as a writer, to improve your craft, and to become a better writer)
  • Ideas (for self editing and critique group editing)
  • Finding an Editor
  • Answering any Extra Questions

Finally, just a reminder that editing is a very important part of writing, but it is quite different than writing. It requires a different set of skills that, if learned and used, will help improve your writing and your critiquing. It can also be a really fun part of the process as you help craft and polish a finished product that will be appreciated for years to come.

Presentation on Editing – 3/12/15

I will be doing a presentation on editing for Utah Valley Writers this Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 7:00 pm (there will be a critique of writing just before that at 6pm). The meeting will be at the Orem Public Library (58 North State Street // Phone: 801.229.70500) in the Media Room (downstairs).

I was planning on talking mostly about being an editor of one’s own work, or an editor in a peer group (levels of editing, etc.). Then I asked my friend, Tiffini Knight (community outreach director for UVW) if she could query some of the members as to what specific questions they had for the presentation, and I’m so glad that I did. Their questions took my planning in new directions and I am excited to incorporate them into the discussion.

Here are some of the questions –

  • What kind of training will a good editor have had?
  • Should we stick with an editor of our genre?
  • At what point can you tell your editor “no”?
  • What are fair charges for editing?
  • Talk about the contract; what components does it have?
  • Can I expect that an editor will help me if I’m stuck?
  • How many drafts can we expect to go through before our manuscripts may be ready to query?
  • How about what to look for in edits? In editors?
  • How to revise or rewrite (or get unstuck) during an edit if we are overwhelmed with the feedback we’ve received but know we should follow it?
  • How to go about finding an editor? There are so many freelance editors, how can you tell if they’re good?
  • In the past, we’ve gotten a lot of questions about the difference between line, content, copy, etc. editing . . . having her explain the difference?
  • What are her thoughts on hiring a freelance editor before you submit your ms to a publisher/agent in the case of traditional publishing as your goal? Waste money, time, etc.? or Powerful education, helps your chances, etc.?

I am so excited about the direction and the feedback. What a great group! I am planning on posting any materials, etc. here for reference.

Hope to see you there!!