Looking for an editor, preferably UK based


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Thread: Looking for an editor, preferably UK based

  1. #1
    Member ehbowen's Avatar
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    Looking for an editor, preferably UK based

    First-time novel writer here; just completed first draft of my first manuscript. While I'm not looking to make any major structural changes, I would like to have professional assistance in "polishing" it. Although I'm based in the States, the narrator character I've used is written to have a British background, and I'd like to include more "Brit-icisms" wherever I can. I am also envisioning her as being a personality of the opinion that the English language "peaked" about a century ago, so I'm wanting to incorporate such details as the proper use of who and whom, the use of diaereses for double letters sounded separately, and so forth. So I'd prefer to find someone with a UK background and preferably with an extensive background in "traditional English". Budget is a consideration, of course, but I'd rather do it right than do it over. First draft is just under 72,000 words. Anyone have any suitable recommendations?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by ehbowen View Post
    First-time novel writer here; just completed first draft of my first manuscript. While I'm not looking to make any major structural changes, I would like to have professional assistance in "polishing" it. Although I'm based in the States, the narrator character I've used is written to have a British background, and I'd like to include more "Brit-icisms" wherever I can. I am also envisioning her as being a personality of the opinion that the English language "peaked" about a century ago, so I'm wanting to incorporate such details as the proper use of who and whom, the use of diaereses for double letters sounded separately, and so forth. So I'd prefer to find someone with a UK background and preferably with an extensive background in "traditional English". Budget is a consideration, of course, but I'd rather do it right than do it over. First draft is just under 72,000 words. Anyone have any suitable recommendations?
    A couple things here...

    Are you planning on self publishing or traditional publishing? If you are wanting to publish traditionally (get an agent, get a big publisher, be rich, etc) then you should absolutely not hire an editor. Anybody credible will tell you this and I know because I went through a phase of thinking the same thing and glad I didn't -- it's throwing money up the wall. Partly because it's pointless -- agents/publishers will pay for editing if they like the story, they aren't expecting fully 'book ready' manuscripts, they are looking for great stories and basic competency. Partly because it's a bad habit -- you need to learn how to 'edit' your own work to make it readable (not polished, but readable) as part of being a writer. However rich you are, I expect you aren't going to have the means to have everything you ever write professionally edited at your own expense?

    If you're planning on self-publishing...you may want to hire an editor. But you said this is your first draft. It's absolutely crazy to me to get a first draft edited. The reason is obvious: You need to get the story as good as it can be as a story (because an editor wont help you with that) and then have it edited for grammar, sentence structure, etc. Paying to have a first draft edited is like buying furniture before you've designed and built the house, it's waaay too early. Editing novels professionally costs thousands of dollars so you don't want to do it until you are totally sure you don't want to change anything, even something small, because -- again -- an editor will not help with the story. Your word count is a little low at 72,000 words (80,000-100,000 is a desirable length for a selling novel in most genres) and while 72,000 words is definitely not too low are you totally sure there's nothing you might want to add to the story? No scenes that could use expansion? No subplots? Do you think it 'reads well' in terms of pacing? These are really important questions.

    It sounds like what you really need is some sort of beta reader/critique, not an editor. There are lots of people who might do that for free, or certainly for a lot less than a professional editor will charge. Lots of beta readers will read/critique your novel in exchange for a read/critique of theirs. Why not try to find a British writer who wants their novel read (maybe they have one set in the US!) and see if they would be interested? Have you had anybody read this yet?

    At the end of the day, it's your money, but a lot of people have wasted fortunes on this kind of thing. So be careful, I guess!
    Deactivated due to staff trolling. Bye!

  3. #3
    Member ehbowen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    A couple things here...

    Are you planning on self publishing or traditional publishing?
    I'd prefer to find a traditional publisher if at all possible.

    It sounds like what you really need is some sort of beta reader/critique, not an editor. There are lots of people who might do that for free, or certainly for a lot less than a professional editor will charge. Lots of beta readers will read/critique your novel in exchange for a read/critique of theirs. Why not try to find a British writer who wants their novel read (maybe they have one set in the US!) and see if they would be interested? Have you had anybody read this yet?

    At the end of the day, it's your money, but a lot of people have wasted fortunes on this kind of thing. So be careful, I guess!
    Thank you for the recommendation, and actually it does sound as if that's exactly what I need. So far I've only shown it to family/friends and, as I said, I just finished the last chapter this past Saturday night. Where would you recommend turning to find readers willing to critique?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ehbowen View Post
    Thank you for the recommendation, and actually it does sound as if that's exactly what I need. So far I've only shown it to family/friends and, as I said, I just finished the last chapter this past Saturday night. Where would you recommend turning to find readers willing to critique?
    This forum, the workshop section. You need to critique others' work first and make ten posts. Critique is like a 'scratch my back, I'll scratch yours' thing. You need to be willing to reciprocate, especially if you want feedback that is detailed on a long piece. The workshops on this forum are only really good for a few thousand words.

    If you want feedback on the entire novel, post about the story in the beta reader exchange, perhaps include a brief synopsis and word count. Other forums likely have similar things. Basically, it's going to be a matter of matchmaking and you will almost certainly need to reciprocate for another writer's work.

    I definitely recommend seeking a British opinion -- most Americans (speaking as one) are highly ignorant on British culture and writing styles.
    Deactivated due to staff trolling. Bye!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ehbowen View Post
    First-time novel writer here; just completed first draft of my first manuscript. While I'm not looking to make any major structural changes, I would like to have professional assistance in "polishing" it. Although I'm based in the States, the narrator character I've used is written to have a British background, and I'd like to include more "Brit-icisms" wherever I can. I am also envisioning her as being a personality of the opinion that the English language "peaked" about a century ago, so I'm wanting to incorporate such details as the proper use of who and whom, the use of diaereses for double letters sounded separately, and so forth. So I'd prefer to find someone with a UK background and preferably with an extensive background in "traditional English". Budget is a consideration, of course, but I'd rather do it right than do it over. First draft is just under 72,000 words. Anyone have any suitable recommendations?
    Hi. I, er, *looks around, mumbles modestly* tick a number of those boxes (UK based, do some freelance editing, believe the language has peaked). But I agree with luckyscars that a lot of what you need can (and arguably should) be done either via this kind of site or certainly without spending any money; workshopping, developing your skills, further drafts. Post your first chapter up in the relevant forum and some of us'll take a look.

    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    most Americans (speaking as one) are highly ignorant on British culture and writing styles.

    I can assure you, us Brits are no better


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    The first cut don't hurt at all
    The second only makes you wonder
    The third will have you on your knee
    s
    - Propaganda, "Duel"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous








  6. #6
    Member ehbowen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    Hi. I, er, *looks around, mumbles modestly* tick a number of those boxes (UK based, do some freelance editing, believe the language has peaked)...some of us'll take a look.
    Thanks for your suggestion. Since you do tick several of the boxes I'm looking for and since I'm still a long way (in terms of posts) from being able to ask for readers in this site's appropriate forum then let me ask if you would have any interest in being a paid beta reader? Not actual editing as such, but simply reviewing the manuscript and making general comments. No, I can't afford to pay everyone!...but you were first. If you are interested, please reply by PM and perhaps we can work something out.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ehbowen View Post
    Thanks for your suggestion. Since you do tick several of the boxes I'm looking for and since I'm still a long way (in terms of posts) from being able to ask for readers in this site's appropriate forum then let me ask if you would have any interest in being a paid beta reader? Not actual editing as such, but simply reviewing the manuscript and making general comments. No, I can't afford to pay everyone!...but you were first. If you are interested, please reply by PM and perhaps we can work something out.
    OK thanks. Don't feel you can't post stuff on here though. Most of the people here are writers so can definitely help you. If it's your first draft, you'll want to get it looked at and think about what changes you can make before getting betas. Writing is rewriting, and all that


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    The first cut don't hurt at all
    The second only makes you wonder
    The third will have you on your knee
    s
    - Propaganda, "Duel"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous








  8. #8
    Member ehbowen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    OK thanks. Don't feel you can't post stuff on here though. Most of the people here are writers so can definitely help you. If it's your first draft, you'll want to get it looked at and think about what changes you can make before getting betas. Writing is rewriting, and all that
    Thanks. I'm pretty close to the ten posts which will at least allow me to post sample chapters and such, but apparently I need to have at least 50 posts before I can ask for a beta reader in that forum. But I'll get there!

  9. #9
    Okay, you have your ten posts, put something up in the workshop, not too much, a huge chunk will get you comments such as 'I liked it', but is daunting. A short piece and there is a good chance of people breaking it down and giving you a more thorough crit. Most of the things people do they do repeatedly, if you can learn from it you can apply it through the piece. As Lucky says it is good to be reciprocal, but more than that when you read other people's stuff you will also see other people's crits, that can be a good source of learning, they will spot things you have not seen.

    Okay, so when you put something up send me a PM with a link and I will take a look. I would disagree with bdcharles about the language having peaked. I see that as a case of personal preference, language changes, but it is not 'worse'. I am of a certain age though, that is an old picture in my avatar, and my mother was an English teacher, so I have been well exposed to a slightly older fashion of writing.
    A new story

    I finally got 'A Family Business' recorded and loaded, all 37 mins of it, much longer than any I have done before.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    I would disagree with bdcharles about the language having peaked. I see that as a case of personal preference.
    The only valid communication is the inchoate howl. Everything else is bastardisation.

    No, no, I'm just joking. I only made the earlier comment because my style can be a little florid and old-fashioned.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    The first cut don't hurt at all
    The second only makes you wonder
    The third will have you on your knee
    s
    - Propaganda, "Duel"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous








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