Build A Great Writer-Editor Relationship

Lesson 2/9 - How to Prepare to be Edited: Overview


Build A Great Writer-Editor Relationship


Lesson Info

How to Prepare to be Edited: Overview

It's not easy to be edited. It's actually a little bit of work. It takes some emotional preparation to be ready to engage in the process. So first, congratulate yourself. You created something that's ready to be at this stage and that's not easy. It takes a lot of work to get into a first draft, to get it ready to be seen by others. So remind yourself you are fantastic at what you do, you're a creator and you have something to say. Kind of marinate in that and remind yourself and then sit down and get a piece of paper and list why you do want others to edit your work. There's a reason you're doing this. There's a reason you're not taking it directly to a journal or to an online publisher or to an agent. So think about why you're going to get engaged in this process. Do you want to have someone who's watching your back? Do you want to make sure you have only the cleanest copy associated with your byline? Do you want to improve your chances of acceptance when you do submit this writing? ...

Putting these on paper will help you realize what your goals are gonna be from the editing process. And be really honest with yourself. If you're only looking for an editor because someone told you you should, you can write that down, you can admit it. Because this will lead into any fears or any reasons you might be hesitating. Are you worried that you might lose your voice? Or that the writer, the editor might take something that you as a writer desperately loved? Any of these reasons you're hesitating should be written down and confront them. Some of them are gonna be really valid and you're gonna want to approach them with anyone you consider working with as an editor. Others you'll see on paper and you'll be like, "No, it's okay. "That's not something I actually have to worry about." And you can breathe easier. So getting them down and confronting them saves so much emotional energy. So, no first, second, or third draft is perfect. There's always going to be a way that we can improve which is why we have so many levels of editing. We have, as we'll talk about, different steps that each piece is gonna go through. And, once you remind yourself that the first draft, second draft, third draft isn't going to be perfect, it'll be easier to be more open with the process. I had a writer who wasn't quite ready to start the editing process. He'd finished it. He'd showed it to friends and family and they're like, "It's great, it's great." And they recommended him to me. And so I was prepping him for the process, and I was like, "Here's what we're gonna do. "We'll look at areas that we can touch up, "there are gonna be some things that are just wrong "that I'll have to change, misspellings, small things." And he said to me, "I don't think you'll have "to make very many changes." And I had to pause because I was like, "You're actually not quite ready. "You know, us together, we're gonna make "sometimes sweeping changes, but all in your voice "and all for your project, and all your decision." And being able to be in the mental space and prepared for that helps so much. So that first draft or second draft or third draft, it can be improved, and that's what we're there to do. So you're open. If you anticipate a successful, productive relationship, everyone's off to a good start.

Class Description

Even after you’ve put the finishing touches on your piece, the writing process is far from finished. Most written works are edited by a professional editor before being published or posted. While a few writer-editor relationships turn adversarial or combative, most are cooperative and constructive and help make the work the best it can be.

Experienced writer, editor and proofreader Heather Saunders will explain the different types of editing, outline the editorial process and offer guidance on how to navigate the editorial relationship. Armed with an in-depth understanding of how editing works and what editors do, writers will be able to avoid the pitfalls of being unprepared.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Set a budget and timeline with your editor before the editing process begins.
  • Pick the right editor for your project by looking at their certifications, experience and views on editing.
  • Determine the level of editing your need.
  • Understand the different types of editing, including developmental, copy editing and proofreading.
  • Know what to expect at each stage of process, including resolving queries, reviewing and accepting edits, and using style sheets.