Thursday, July 13, 2017

Reader Etiquette


I am getting close to publishing my second Caitlyn Jamison mystery, Fatal Dose, and with that comes an increased level of stress. What if, after all the beta readers, after all my editing, there remains an elusive typo, an extra word, a missing word, or different spellings of the same word, or … you fill in the blank.

I suspect every writer goes through this anxiety period, and maybe it never ends for some. At some point you (or your publisher) has to decide the story is told. Editing and rewriting is done. It is time to close the document and let it go. And that is when high anxiety hits.

I have been thinking about this process lately, and decided to air my feelings about reader etiquette.  I still laugh over a comment I received after publication of An Unexpected Death. The person said she hoped I would have a good editor for my next book because she found a misplaced apostrophe! How do you answer a na├»ve comment like this? As an author, you don’t. You just smile and nod. (And try not to burst out laughing.)

This week I started reading Lisa Unger’s The Red Hunter, published April 2017 by Simon & Schuster, and by a fourth of the way through the book I noticed two editing errors. I will not be emailing or commenting on the author’s Facebook page telling her about these errors. Instead, I will do what I always do, understand that no one is perfect, and what I really want from any book I pick up is a good story.

And that brings me to reader etiquette. When you read my books, I’m sure you will find an editing error or two of some kind. What I wish is that you overlook those and just enjoy the story.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Various Editing Processes




I never thought about it, but it makes sense there are different editing processes for each phase of story development.

A Developmental Editor works with the author on developing the story. They will check the structure and content of your book. You may or may not need this service, depending on your skill level. For a detailed article on how to work with a developmental editor, check Jane Friedman’s website.

A Line Editor looks at the author’s creative content, writing style and language, making sure the use of language is clear and readable. A line editor will point out overused/unneeded words and sentences, where dialogue needs to be tightened, and confusing scenes, just to name a few.

A Copy Editor gets down to the nitty-gritty of finding spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. The copy editor will look for consistency in your use of words and statements. You can’t have someone with blue eyes in the beginning of the story and brown eyes at the end – unless, of course, contact lenses are part of the story!

Thanks to the New YorkBook Editors website for pointing out the differences between line editing and copy editing.