Many editors want to see the entire work to know the work that will be involved

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elizabeth elizabeth
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Many editors want to see the entire work to know the work that will be involved

Hi, Of course, I was joking when I said that perhaps editors want to see the hole MS so that they can charge more LOL

What I did find when I had the opportunity of seeing the draft of some published writers (including Stephen King--even though I could not truly decipher most of his handwriting) is that their draft is not different than mine and probably yours (read: filled with flaws) the end product is the result of labor and love from the part of the writer...Then what separated me from them?

When I look at this question, the answer is certainly not laziness: part of the answer was for me to learn the craft, so I took several courses and I'm not saying this because I am here at this Forum, and, I have never said this before: I have learned more here about the craft than any other course I have taken, and that includes my classes at UCLA, and I don't even read every model because I simply don't have the time.

So, what is the answer? For me is the fact that some writers take the feedback to heart, and they are in a position to recognize a good feedback, others disregard feedback and get stuck doing the same things over and over (of course one needs to know how to fix the problem but I found out many resources and blogs here that tells me how to do that).

Then there's another circunstance that can hinder an aspiring writer like myself, and this is to get a feedback that says "I'm not sure whether I life the chapter or not." Certainly no one can use this input, not even the person who said it (just an example, no one told me that).

Another input that loses its power is to say things like "Do this word really exist?" (again no one asked me that). The problem with this is that if the word exists, then the author will disregard the comment that targed the word. It is much better to say, this word got me out of the story, I started thinking about it and got really confused. Now the author knows what to do with the word. Right?

Lorilyn Roberts (we are taking the same class) uses these simple questions and I thought it could be very helpful, so I asked her permission to post it here(haven't asked Dr. Yeoman, but I think it will be okay)

1. Were you confused anywhere?
2. Would you like to see any of the characters more fully developed than what I’ve shown?
3. Any places you would have liked further elaboration? Any places you got too bogged down with elaboration?
4. Was the pacing good?
5. Was it believable enough that you wanted to keep reading?
6. Were you bored anywhere?
7. Were you moved in your heart toward God? (or whatever your goal was)
8. Would you feel like you could recommend this book to an unbeliever? (if this is not the case, disreagard it)
9. Was the ending satisfying?
10. Any suggestions you would like to make that would improve its overall quality?
11. Anything you particularly liked?


And if you want one that is more comprehensive,  perhaps this one will do:

*What is especially interesting or effective about this draft? After reading it, what do you most clearly remember about it?

*What seems to be the central idea or purpose of this chapter? Any suggestions for improvement?

*How well does the draft seem to address its intended audience? Any suggestions for improvement?

*Comment on the opening paragraph. Suggestions?

*Comment on the organization of the draft? How well unified is it? Suggestions?

*Are there places in the draft that need additional details or examples?

*Is the argument in this draft clear and convincing? Does each paragraph contribute to the overall effectiveness of the draft? How might the argument be made more effective?

*Can you suggest parts of this draft which might be cut from the final draft?


The great thing about those pre arranged questions is that it takes the writer and the reader off the hook, so to speak. I think i'll be using them. What do you think? Let me know.
Pat Linum Pat Linum
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Re: Many editors want to see the entire work to know the work that will be involved

I have not found any other threads leading up to this expose. That aside I read this piece with care and I have created  a copy of the editing/critiqueing questions you suggested. These will not only be of help when I make a critiqe but when I 'finish a piece'.

I may yet become a rich and famous author!!**

PL
elizabeth elizabeth
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Re: Many editors want to see the entire work to know the work that will be involved

Good to know that it can be used. I like those too.


 I think  a Summary helps too because a beta reader has something to work with if she knows the plot, and of course we can't ask a beta reader to read an entire book to figure out a plot (if it is a first draft the author most likely won't know the plot either, particularly if h/she is a pantser, so we can't have someone trying to figure out the plot for us, but we can ask for help to see if the plot is clear. Do we have a good hook? Is the antagonist strong? The action clear? I like to make one sentence out of every chapter that defines the action or what happened in that chapter. If I can't get that, then I know that the chapter shoudln't be in the book.


Now I don't think there's anything wrong in placing a chapter before is 'perfect'. ACtually we need other people in order to develope some conviction to work the copy, but when we are on first draft, it is a tough job for a beta reader because it lacks clarity so style, depth, hooks, rhythm...none of that can't be commented because the copy is not clear.

Where are you in your work? (I just lost all my files with Scrivener. What a nightmare!)
 
elizabeth elizabeth
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Re: Many editors want to see the entire work to know the work that will be involved

In reply to this post by Pat Linum
Oh, this was an email to another author from this forum and I thought it was posted, perhaps not. I have said, jokingly, that editors read the full manuscript perhaps to "charge more".
Bea Bea
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Re: Many editors want to see the entire work to know the work that will be involved

In reply to this post by elizabeth
Those are good questions, Elizabeth. And as Pat said, every bit as good for us as we edit, rewrite, and polish.

I don't want to sound like a grump (I'm not, really, at least not usually), but I think sometimes writers ask for a critique before they've done any critiquing themselves on the work, if you know what I mean. I don't think a writer should put a rough draft out and simply ask for a critique. But if the writer has a specific question in mind, such as, "Do you care about this character?" or "Does the action make sense?" or whatever they're concerned about, making it clear that it's a very rough draft and they're just asking for input on whether to continue in the same vein, that's different.

But it seems to me that to put a first or otherwise very rough draft out for general, overall critiquing without some parameters  is premature.
Alex Rosel (WV) Alex Rosel (WV)
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Re: Many editors want to see the entire work to know the work that will be involved

In reply to this post by elizabeth
These are good questions to ask, Elizabeth.

The one thing I have found is that getting critique feedback and getting feedback from beta readers should be two entirely different things.

Critique is usually given by fellow writers, editors and grammarians. It generally focuses on issues at the sentence level: the technicalities of writing, grammar and punctuation, POV inconsistencies etc. It's more of a peer-review process.

Beta readers should be used at a later stage when the manuscript has already been revised and edited in preparation for publication. Here, the reader feedback is more subjective, giving opinions concerning the entertainment and interest value of the work. I've found it best if beta readers are not aspiring writers themselves, but just love reading books. After all, that is what your potential customers are likely to be. Plot development, characterisation and readability problems can often be identified at this stage - and, for me, that means another iteration of the whole process
elizabeth elizabeth
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Re: Many editors want to see the entire work to know the work that will be involved

Hi, My opinion is just the opposite. Beta readers to improve your copy, then professional editors to do the fine editing (after all it won't do any good to edit a work that needs to be changed-- plot inconsistencies etc.). To be honet, I never heard of doing a reversal trend, editors first and beta readers second.
Elizabeth
Alex Rosel (WV) Alex Rosel (WV)
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Re: Many editors want to see the entire work to know the work that will be involved

Each to their own, elizabeth. Whatever works for each individual is fine.

I beta read novels for others and they only supply me with work that has already passed through editing. And I know my beta readers would throw anything back at me that hasn't already been edited - but then my drafts are potholed with elementary mistakes  

elizabeth elizabeth
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Re: Many editors want to see the entire work to know the work that will be involved

Yeah, that is true. It varies. I carefully edit my own work but often miss something like RUE and then when someone points out to me I am quick to redo the paragraph, but I generally do all the editing, but there was a time when I spent a lot of energy editing but I guess training helps (we do so much that we can't help to improve LOL)
Best
Liz

P.S. Do you know where to we post that we want to continue with the site? Please let me know.
elizabeth elizabeth
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Re: Many editors want to see the entire work to know the work that will be involved

In reply to this post by Alex Rosel (WV)
Alex, do you want to partner to edit each other's work?
I can look at POV consistency, plot consistency, character's motive, inciting incident etc. I teach structure for novelists.

There is one thing I won't do: check grammar; other than that ....you can count on me.

I have a list somehwere that helps to prepare a feedback (not mine, but from another author).

We can also send one chapter or one page of our work to see if we want to partner,
Please let me know,

Liz
Alex Rosel (WV) Alex Rosel (WV)
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Re: Many editors want to see the entire work to know the work that will be involved

I've sent you a pm, elizabeth.
elizabeth elizabeth
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Re: Many editors want to see the entire work to know the work that will be involved

In reply to this post by Bea
Agree, and of course it all depends on the level one writes. I edit as I write and depending on the level a first draft can't be close to unbearable to read, except by the author :)

Liz
---- "Bea [via Story PenPal]" <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> Those are good questions, Elizabeth. And as Pat said, every bit as good for
> us as we edit, rewrite, and polish.
>
> I don't want to sound like a grump (I'm not, really, at least not usually),
> but I think sometimes writers ask for a critique before they've done any
> critiquing themselves on the work, if you know what I mean. I don't think a
> writer should put a rough draft out and simply ask for a critique. But if
> the writer has a specific question in mind, such as, "Do you care about this
> character?" or "Does the action make sense?" or whatever they're concerned
> about, making it clear that it's a very rough draft and they're just asking
> for input on whether to continue in the same vein, that's different.
>
> But it seems to me that to put a first or otherwise very rough draft out for
> general, overall critiquing without some parameters  is premature.
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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>
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