Editing – exciting?

Developmental editing, copy editing, beta readers, proofreading, cover design … it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty.

It’s an education though and I’m picking my way through the prickles in bare feet.

Currently I’ve reached a playground and it’s so far, pretty much pain free. Reedsy.com is a platform that allows you source all the above in one easy to reach market of goodies. I’m sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m enjoying the seamlessness. That’s rare. I’m taking it!

As of now, I’ve settled upon what I think will be a good US developmental editor to take a look at Book 1. (Remembering that Book 1 existed as ‘Brave’s Journey’ and has now been rewritten to fit into a series of what I hope will be six books).

Developmental editing gives you that big picture, umbrella, chunky feedback that you hope will set you on the right track. While the process of choosing an editor has been enjoyable, I guess the pain will come when I have to get all that wise feedback and face up to the fact there might be some major changes. Or not. I’m ever hopeful the bones of this book are still good.

I’m used to receiving critique; having worked as a content writer, written articles for magazines, newspapers, crafted words for labels and brochures and ghost written on subjects as diverse as financial accounting and kava.

So I’m actually looking forward to that fresh set of eyes on my work. Saying that, I’ve selected an editor who I believe has a leaning towards YA fantasy writing – in the projects she’s worked with and in her background. That’s so important. I wanted to find someone who would understand the tropes, arcs, expectations of readers, rules of magic and then notice when I went beyond them, or could suggest ways to customise them within my unique world.

To get an editor match, it’s always a good idea to ask plenty of questions to make sure you find the right fit. Especially if you end up working with this person over a number of books in a series. Some questions I asked and a few I didn’t, but should have:

  • How old are? (personal, but gives you an idea of where a person is coming from, right?)
  • What can you tell me about you personally – and as a writer/reader/editor – that would make you suited to understanding my characters and their world?
  • Do you have a passion for fantasy stories?
  • Did you read them as a child and what were your favourites?
  • What experience do you have with other fantasy media – movies, dungeons and dragons, video games etc
  • What spoke to your taste in fantasy about the pitch I sent to you about my books?
  • Can you tell me about your approach to LGBTQ+ characters?
  • And the practicalities: deadlines, when to get the MS to the editor, dates to remember, what format? (Although Reedsy makes a lot of this easy).

Next on the list is copy editing and cover design. If I want to, I can source these through Reedsy as well. (along with PR, marketing, website etc) Worth noting is that it seems as though quite a few developmental editors also do copy editing. Not sure if it’s better to have a completely different set of eyes on that next step though?

Meanwhile, I think I’ll just go play on the swings for a while. Playground’s gettin’ busy.

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