Monday, January 20, 2014

Guest Post-Edward Stoneman: Editor

Help me in welcoming Edward Stoneman. He does a lot of editing for my other personality as well as other authors. If you're interested in hiring him, contact him on his Facebook.

Hi everybody! (Hi Dr. Nick!)

My name is Ed, I like long walks on the beach, candlelight dinners, and editing smut.

Amy asked me to come on out from behind the curtain and let you know about the secrets of my Red Pen 'o Doom.

First and foremost, what does an editor do?

The short answer is that I take what the author writes, and I make changes to it in order for it to become suitable for public consumption.

Most of my time is spent reading the work that is sent to me, and then thinking how it can be polished up a little bit. In the case of Alex and Mia, that usually involves killing many many commas, and adjusting when they accidentally switch perspective.

So, how does the process work?

First, the author sends me their work. This is usually just days before a deadline, and likely a week past when it should have been to me in the first place. But eventually I DO get the piece.

Following that, I read it through, without making any changes. Twice. This is to be sure that I know what they are actually trying to accomplish with the story, and generally get into the mind of the characters.

I use Microsoft Office, because it has the handy "Track Changes" ability, and I start to work my magic. This is the portion that my authors hate, because I tease them relentlessly about changes. And the death of commas.

The changes that I make are varied. They run from punctuation, to overused words, to misapplication of their/there/they're. I also tend to catch it when they change the personal view of the story from first person to third person, and back again (Alex...)

Some of my changes are broad strokes where I shuffle entire sentences out for redundancy, or add in a few lines where description is sadly lacking. Other changes are slightly more in depth - where I try to get into the head of a character and develop an individual voice for them. At one point I told Alex that a certain character didn't seem the type to use contractions in his speech, because of the power and dominance involved in speaking clearly and with firm authority.

After I make the first round of changes, I read it again, and make any other changes that I missed the first time. Essentially I turn around and edit the editor.

Then I set the project in the corner for a day and let it think on the error of its ways.

The next day, I take a final read through, and send it back to my writer, in order that they may release the project into the wild, and then remember me when they become independently wealthy.

Why don't I write a book myself?

Because I am lazy. Seriously. I have a zillion ideas, but at the end of the day I put them on paper and then they just fizzle out. Second to that, by helping other people to edit, I get more books that way. If I wrote a book of my own, I would only have one new book. This way I get to have many. And being a greedy bastard, well, this works out in my favor.

How did I get started editing?

I write quite a bit in my day job. And proof read as well. Mostly business emails, contracts, client correspondence and the like. One day, Alex asked if I would proof something for her, because the readers for her other material weren't... As knowledgable on the subject matter. Okay, they are vanilla, and I am (comparably) double fudge swirl with nuts. I make no apologies for this. So I did the read through and made some changes, offered a few points of help, and that was that. Until she asked me to read again. And then Mia jumped not the bandwagon. Now I am reading for a handful of authors, which is amazing, because I love the chance to be the first person to see good work happen.

I am a book hound as well. Any book. I love to read anything I can get my hands on - license plates, cereal boxes, manuscripts, text books.... Everything. I also do work in the Estate Sale industry, so I collect antique books and sell them online - or gift them as appropriate. For the holidays this year, my roommate got a book from one of the premier scholars in her field, that was over a hundred years old. I LIVE for books. So, given the opportunity, why would I turn down the ability to make books happen?

Do you want me to edit for you?

As long as you are not afraid of the Red Pen, I am generally more than happy to read for you. I need you to contact me through Facebook, and we can arrange your needs from there. I work for free, though copies of books are always appreciated. I love books, you have no idea. I would rather have books than money any day of the week.


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