Editing


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Thread: Editing

  1. #1

    Editing

    When an editor/publisher receives a story, at what point do they see bad SPAG as a rejection or can/do they look past a few mistakes, if the story is good and ask for an edit before accepting?

    Obviously put send your best work but the longer a story the more likely you'll miss a few.
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  2. #2
    I think the fewer mistakes, the better, but I don't think I've ever had anything published that was completely error free when I submitted the manuscript.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelwrath View Post
    When an editor/publisher receives a story, at what point do they see bad SPAG as a rejection or can/do they look past a few mistakes, if the story is good and ask for an edit before accepting?

    Obviously put send your best work but the longer a story the more likely you'll miss a few.
    Do what you can, and don't worry about the rest.

    Run a spelling and grammar check. Open Office is free, and pretty good for the basics. Maybe a friend or library has Word. Of course, read through carefully. One member suggested reading each page from the back of the book to the front, so as not to get too caught up in the story and miss things. I've not tried it myself, but thought I'd put it out there for consideration. And if you can find an avid reader to read it, that's a plus! Sometimes it takes the neutral party to see things.

    Once all that is finished, know that you've done your best.

  4. #4
    I doubt most agents get past the email introduction. Pessimistic i know, but when they get thousands a week, they probably skim the email and think 'Can i sell that idea' and if they think they can't then they move on to the next. WHich is why the vast majority don't give feedback or even a thank you for submitting - because they haven't read it.

    Agents are a business they are there to make money from you, pure and simple. They probably look in the email introductions for things like . . 'I have previously published in . . . ' or writing credits of some such.

    Sorry to be negative this morning, but that is how I think it really works.

    I wish you all the best


    Rgds
    Published Works:
    'The Shadow Grounds' - Hidden Content
    'The Eyes of the Devil' - Hidden Content

    Currently working: - 'Anomaly' Sci-Fi - save the world type, 'NeverLeave' - horror, and 'A Meeting of Worlds' fantasy.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeCobley View Post
    I doubt most agents get past the email introduction. Pessimistic i know, but when they get thousands a week, they probably skim the email and think 'Can i sell that idea' and if they think they can't then they move on to the next. WHich is why the vast majority don't give feedback or even a thank you for submitting - because they haven't read it.

    Agents are a business they are there to make money from you, pure and simple. They probably look in the email introductions for things like . . 'I have previously published in . . . ' or writing credits of some such.

    Sorry to be negative this morning, but that is how I think it really works.

    I wish you all the best


    Rgds
    True, but you generally have to submit the first few pages and what if they do decide they like the idea enough to read it and you have typos all over the place because ďmost agents donít get past the emailĒ?

    Iím other words, your advice isnít factually wrong but itís the kind of futile negativity that breeds further negativity, to the point it is actually bad advice. Treat every submission like This Is It. Otherwise you will fail.

    Editing for agents isnít about clarity usually, or about showing off your SPAG skills. What itís about is presentation etiquette. You donít do a corporate pitch in your pajamas and you donít try to sell things withour researching them to the point you can answer questions. Agents are people and people demand respect. A poorly edited story is disrespect.

    There are actually two stories in a submission, the story you are submitting and the story of you as an author. Writing with numerous typos isnít usually a problem EXCEPT that it shows you havenít bothered to check your own work. It implies, fairly or not, that you are either incompetent or careless or both. Itís a kind of self sabotage, rather like making a sale and then not being able to make change for a large bill. Itís stupid, basically.

    OP: Check your work carefully. Worry about it to the point of madness if you must. Donít let it ruin your life but do treat it as the career making/breaking moment that it is. If you canít/wont then you donít deserve to make it. Period.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelwrath View Post
    When an editor/publisher receives a story, at what point do they see bad SPAG as a rejection or can/do they look past a few mistakes, if the story is good and ask for an edit before accepting?

    Obviously put send your best work but the longer a story the more likely you'll miss a few.
    Errors are a distraction to readers, and that includes agents and acquiring editors too. If your work has too many distractions, they are not going to see it in its best light. Most people will spot an error and while they mentally note it, they’ll keep on reading. That means they’ve missed something in your story and lost focus.

    It pays to try and keep an agent (or any reader, for that matter) focused on your work.

  7. #7
    The competition at an agent/publisher's door is so tough that if your SPAG isn't 100% they will not even give it a serious look.
    There are thousands of writers submitting immaculate content, thousands submitting meticulously edited content.
    You gotta bring your A-game.
    Edit, edit, edit...then edit some more.

    Same goes for Indie publishing. Reviews saying your book is poorly edited will murder your novel. Amazon can also flag a book for being poorly edited.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    True, but you generally have to submit the first few pages and what if they do decide they like the idea enough to read it and you have typos all over the place because “most agents don’t get past the email”?

    I’m other words, your advice isn’t factually wrong but it’s the kind of futile negativity that breeds further negativity, to the point it is actually bad advice. Treat every submission like This Is It. Otherwise you will fail.

    Editing for agents isn’t about clarity usually, or about showing off your SPAG skills. What it’s about is presentation etiquette. You don’t do a corporate pitch in your pajamas and you don’t try to sell things withour researching them to the point you can answer questions. Agents are people and people demand respect. A poorly edited story is disrespect.

    There are actually two stories in a submission, the story you are submitting and the story of you as an author. Writing with numerous typos isn’t usually a problem EXCEPT that it shows you haven’t bothered to check your own work. It implies, fairly or not, that you are either incompetent or careless or both. It’s a kind of self sabotage, rather like making a sale and then not being able to make change for a large bill. It’s stupid, basically.

    OP: Check your work carefully. Worry about it to the point of madness if you must. Don’t let it ruin your life but do treat it as the career making/breaking moment that it is. If you can’t/wont then you don’t deserve to make it. Period.
    Yeah, I kind of went off on one then.

    I agree completely, when approaching agents/publishers your email, and synopsis and chapters your submit HAVE to be error free. As you rightly point out, if they get past the email and like the idea, then they see the first paragraph with grammar and spelling mistakes, they are unlikely to carry on and move to the next.

    I think I should have had more coffee when reading this, as my post wasn't really relevant to the OP.

    Happy writing all!

    Rgds
    Published Works:
    'The Shadow Grounds' - Hidden Content
    'The Eyes of the Devil' - Hidden Content

    Currently working: - 'Anomaly' Sci-Fi - save the world type, 'NeverLeave' - horror, and 'A Meeting of Worlds' fantasy.

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