WRONG WORD vs RIGHT WORD
= Editor Assistant
Are you the Writer whose story is rattling around in your thoughts and never gives you a moments rest? Does it wreak havoc with your daily life? Do conversations with family and friends become punctuated with descriptions of the perfect scene to open chapter eight? Is everyone asking you the question: WHEN will you be finished with that novel? This may be the time to consider working with an editor/assistant—but how do you find the right one? When I posed this question to one of my author/editor friends, she said: “It’s much like picking the right puppy out of a big litter. Go to a writers conference; sit in the middle of the room; and voila. The right one will come to you—eventually.” Well…maybe that has worked for her. Because she’s not just an author, but also an editor who easily connects with people and really does a great job of editing for them, lots of people enjoy talking with her. However, allow me to offer a few other suggestions that might help folks who aren’t quick as outgoing.
- Because my editing friend is also a published author (with several book on Amazon and in bookstores), I look for that information in any Editor’s Bio. If someone has never gone through the whole writing process themselves, how are they going to understand what I’m going through—and HELP ME!
- Whether in-person or by phone, I want to TALK with several Editors about my book ideas and then LISTEN to their responses. I’m hoping to hear a connected-ness to the central concepts of the book and feel a person-to-person (writer-to-writer) connected-ness, too. If they don’t “get” the story I’m trying to write, they are not the Editor for me.
- Also important is finding an Editor who will compliment a writer’s personality type. Most of the authors I know have utilized personality-type-testing to enhance their understanding of Introvert/Extrovert, Empathic/Detached, etc. “characters” as they are developed in their stories. Knowing the basic personality type of the Editors being interviewed will help select the best person to BALANCE the creative flow.
- Both Author and Editor must also be adaptable—sensitive—to the STORY being written. We’ve all heard (and eventually understand) that stories and characters take on a life of their own as the book gets closer to completion. Editor and Author must be willing to LISTEN to each other’s ideas about improving plot without making decisions that alter the character(s) and the life they’re living in the story.
- Finally, ask for references from the Editor’s authors list and be willing to call them. One of my favorite things to do is provide the list of the published books my author/client/friends completed.
Mark Twain is quoted saying, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is like the difference between the lightning bug and lightning.” The same can be said about connecting with the right Editor. There is one more way to find an excellent Editor who will match your needs. Talk with the publishing consultant from the publisher you plan to use. Their experience in connecting Writers with Editors is there for the asking. ⚓︎
ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.