Editors we work with
Where would any author be if we all had to not only write the story, edit the story and then draw the story? Aside from exhausted that is?
There are a few, truly amazing, talents out there who can, possibly against the very laws of the universe, actually manage to do all three (and then throw in marketing as a fourth, just on the side) and not feel like they’re trying to bash their way through a solid brick wall with nothing but their fists.
They’re not many. And I think I can safely say that I’m not one of them. I’ve tried it, back in the day, and if I could do it all over again, I’d take a deep breath and tell myself that asking others for help isn’t a bad thing.
There is also a serious downside to editing your own works; you tend to see what you meant to write, not what your fingers actually typed. And this is just as true the fifth time you’re reading through your manuscript as the time number fifty. Somewhere in there, hiding itself oh so cleverly, will be something that shouldn’t be. Several some-things, usually. If you’re really, really lucky – only an other editor will notice, but don’t count on it.
I’ve seen plenty of errors over the years in actual, properly printed, material (editors are unsinkable only in the same way as the Titanic) but having another set of professional eyes on your project is not only a relief for your own eyes (and a welcome break too) but also helps giving you a sense of perspective on the story itself.
Yes, yes, I remember. I just said that you shouldn’t edit your own works. Truth be told though, you will be, more often than not, do a lot of minor, even major, editing before you’re even willing to chance someone else’s eyes on your precious manuscript.
As you can imagine, I’ve done my share of both editing as well as just ordinary proofreading over the years and, to be honest, it’s a lot more enjoyable when you work on fictional stories (mind you, that might be my inner, manic, reader speaking – the one who devours fiction like a river dragon devours fish). I’ve worked in publishing and when you’ve read the same article ten times (and changed something every time) both proofreader and editor will be pulling their hairs up by their roots when it comes back around … again. And it’ll probably do it many times after that – especially if it’s a bad day. Still, the end-result usually justifies all the effort and the feeling like your eyeballs are about to start bleeding.
Actually, when you have the chance to work with a good author, the editing process is more akin to a mutual exploration of lands unknown and something that can lead not only to new insights, even worlds, but where a shared experience and working towards a mutual goal (i.e. a polished manuscript and gripping story) helps you see things from more than one point of view.
The same goes, without saying, for working with a good editor.
Ashley’s one of those amazing editors who is also a writer.
She’s proficient in pretty much everything when it comes to editing; from manuscript assessments to substantive and stylistic editing. But more than that, she easily follows the most convoluted chronological plot hopping (which, for someone like me who doesn’t write their story in chronological order is an absolute treasure) without batting an eye and easily adjust how and what she edits to the voice you’re trying to use – either as an author or for individual characters.
I’ve been very fortunate in having Ashley being my second set of eyes for some time. I’ve also been extremely privileged in that I’ve had the chance to follow Ashley’s own stories for several years and look forward to when they too can take their place on a nice shelf in the bookcase.