Monday, September 26, 2011

These are a Few of My Favorite Things (About Editing)

Today, finally, I sent back my last MAJOR set of edits to one of the UnCONventional contributors.

I may have been stressing, I may have messed up my once-dependable blogging schedule, but damnit, I am so happy and proud of this project!  Having to get back on this "dependable blogging schedule" is SO worth it.  UnCONventional is already made of awesome--and it's not even out yet.

(If you're interested, though, you can SO preorder it here and make many of us even happier!)

Anyway, as I was getting through the edits, I was reminded of why I love this part of writing so much--well, at least when working with other people.

In the long tradition of online communications, here's a

Top 5 List of Things I Love About Editing

5.  The challenge of playing in parameters.  When you edit, you want to respect the author's creation, so offering suggestions and making changes need to be in line with the author's vision.  As much as free reign over a project is fun, it's even more fun to test one's creativity and writing skill by working within boundaries.
4.  The thrill of teaching.  No matter how many students I teach, or how many friends I critique, or how often I post tips on my blog, there are still people who have not heard some of my favorite proofreading and writing strategies, like reading backwards, using find & replace to count word usage, and comparing word usage to overall word count.  Having someone thank me for teaching them something new sets my heart all aflutter.

3.  Discovering new worlds and being able to help them.  Haven't you ever wanted to make the world a better place?  And do you love escaping into alternate worlds?  When you edit, you get to do both.  You discover fantastic realms/realities, and you can help the author make them stronger--or at least present a clearer picture of them to readers.

2.  Amazing surprises.  In many stories, I've made suggestions for changes or even had no idea what to suggest.  In so many of those cases, the author came up with a fix that was ten to a hundred times better than anything I could have thought of.

1.  The creative sum is greater than the whole.  We selected what we felt the strongest submissions were, and then we advised ways to make them even stronger.  The end result of the author's creativity and love, plus the hard love from both Kate and me, is a piece that each of our individual parts could NEVER come up with alone.  AND, as an anthology, we increase that by 22 of us, exponentially.

So, the next step is to put all these stories into galleys and see how it fits our page count and do yet another proofread.  (And maybe 1 or 3 more after that.)  Per Kate, we're still on good schedule for our release party in January and to get Advanced Reading Copies out for some reviews before then.

Thanks to all the authors and my co-editor for making this such a great project!  I look forward to the rest of this journey with you.

(And, in earnest appeal, you really should pre-order a copy right now. :)  )


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