One of my SCBWI critique group members suggested balance last time I mentioned not having enough time to write because of editing.I haven’t been submitting the usual number of pages for the last two months. Somehow the editing jobs didn’t go away while I worked on taxes. They piled up, and my efforts to recruit an editing assistant didn’t work in time to reduce the load. Here I am, two days before the SCBWI writer’s workshop in Orlando, and I’m overdue on two editing jobs. I can’t work on my own writing, let alone do all the reading I want. Arrgh! If I can balance books long enough to take a picture like this, why can’t I arrange my time as well?
I did find a student with the knack for spotting the things that can take a story from blah to awe. After reading his last developmental critique, I decided the book review that made me contact him wasn’t a fluke. So I’m training him now, and if you want an excellent job on plot (story structure) for a very small price, LitCritChas is your man. But Chas is just beginning to study the other types of editing. So the current time crunch problem isn’t solved.
I am still looking for someone who already has the talent and knowledge to spot all the language mistakes I do. This person wouldn’t have to know everything. For most rule violations and problems, including style, the Chicago Manual of Style can supply the answer. The other part of copy editing is having an artist’s eye, but even that isn’t necessary if you have an eye for detail and turn on the show formatting tool to spot extra spaces and the like. At the end of this post, I’ll point out a distracting pattern I notice in many writers’ books. See if you can find it.
I love editing, but I also want time to write. Time again! I’ve seen so many botched editing jobs, I want people I can trust to help. Not as an employee, but as a colleague with a separate business. I will supply the markup from books I’ve edited with links to the rules violated to help train whoever steps up. And this person can’t be greedy because the vast majority of writers aren’t rich. I want someone who loves reading as much as I do–enough to nurture writers until they succeed. Great books create a wider audience for all of us. So, any takers?
Now for that distracting pattern. Did you see three paragraphs in a row that start with “I”? And a few too many sentences start the same way. I didn’t do that on purpose until the third paragraph. A writing workshop warned me of this problem, so be aware that it’s not just me who sees patterns as well as writes them. Also, if you don’t want boring and repetitious sentence structure, turn them around once in a while. While you’re at it, turn over the hourglass for me.
Okay, now I’ve told you my biggest concern. What’s yours?