Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Reading with My Editor's Eyes

Okay, so on Monday, I finally finished inputting the Round One edit notes and started the next phase of editing.  And the next phase is not going as smoothly as I'd hoped.  I'm only 6% in and I already have over a page of notes.  :shrug:  It is what it is.  On the upside, this will be a better book for it because I'm reading with my editor's eyes*.

As you might know, paying an outside editor hasn't been in the budget since 2019, which means I have to work harder to get this right.  No one is pointing out plot gaps and wording irregularities and timing issues.  I have to see those myself.  Basically, I'm channeling my editor.  If I see something I know she would thrash me soundly for, I make a note.  If I hear her in my head saying, 'that doesn't sound right', I make a note.  If I so much as feel weird about a word or a phrase, I re-read the sentence until I figure out what's making me squirmy and then make a note.   (Except for inserting 'whom' - a point we always had fun with.)  

Oh, I'm still sending my books off to readers for proofing.  But I don't expect them to do any deep edits.  I'm sure they'll let me know if they find anything deeply wrong, but it isn't their job.  They're doing it out of the kindness of their hearts and I don't want them to have to work any harder than someone reading for enjoyment.  Like when you're reading for enjoyment and find a flaw, but this time you actually get to point the flaw out to the author and have it fixed.  That kind of thing.

Doing it all myself is hard.  I have to be especially watchful that I don't slip my writer eyes back in and skip over stuff.  No one is walking behind me catching the things I drop.  For instance, Tori's eyes are GREEN.  And she's a blonde.  Eddie's also a blonde, but her eyes are blue.  Can't get that mixed up.  Fran is pleasingly plump, not willowy.  And she's a frickin' brunette.  Sara is the mother but also the granddaughter.  Have to make sure I don't refer to them both by name in the same scene or it's confusing.  (I could've made that last one easier by giving the kid a different name, but it's germane for her to have been named after her grandma.)

Anyway, I hope I'm getting this all right.  I'm sure someone will let me know if I'm not.  I just hope it's a beta-reader and not someone who paid for the book.  

Editing your own work is possible.  If you're really mindful of what you're doing and you read with your editor's eyes.  If you've never had an editor, scrape up the money and get one.  They're a valuable resource.  I wish I could simply say 'enough' and pass this off to mine.  It would be so much easier.  Damn, I miss her.  But I can't send this to her, so I'd better be damn sure I'm doing this right.  I have a feeling she'd kick my ass if I didn't.  ;o)

*Yeah, sounds kinda gross, but I'll wipe them off and ship them back to her when I'm done.  Promise.


  1. I get so much caught by betas and ARC readers that even my editors don't pick up! Sounds like you're doing a great job.

  2. I'm not sure if I should be worried or flattered that you're hearing my voice in your head - LOL As for my eyes - keep them for as long as you need!!! Missing you, too, but you've got this :)

  3. For my Red Dirt books? I have an editor. I have a copy editor. I have a proofreader. Those last two come after I edit, re-edit, proof, and then Charles gets his hands on it, we revise, rewrite, edit, proof. Guess what. Got an email from a reader last week. In the new RDR book? I'm in the hero's POV, he's talking about the heroine, and he says a different name! Not her name, but the name of the h in the previous book, his sister-in-law. *headdesk* We ALL missed that!!!! So yeah, stuff happens. I'm pretty decent at self edits. A few run-throughs gets time-line and continuity oops fixed. Then reading out loud for flow, pacing and typos. Then my in-house editor goes over it though he doesn't pick up on typos quite like he used to, but the story line? Yuppers.

    Hang in there! You're doing it right and producing quality books!

    P.S. Janet is pretty darn generous with her eyes. LOL