continued from Why Freelance Fiction Editing, pt. 2
What a Fiction Editor Can Do (and What We Can’t)
We Can Help Your Manuscript Reach Its Potential:
A good fiction editor can take a manuscript that has potential and help it reach that potential. This may include different types of editing and can often take as much as forty hours of work for a detailed, substantive edit of an average manuscript. At the Fiction Fix-It Shop, we tend to work much more quickly than that, but we’re the exception and not the rule.
We Can Offer Our Best Feedback and Suggestions Based On Our Industry Experience:
When you get your manuscript back from a freelance editor, you can expect a lot of comments and feedback, some suggestions for changes, and maybe even a few simple corrections to grammar or punctuation. It will be your job to go through and apply this feedback in the way that you feel is best for your writing. That’s why you need to already be at least somewhat experienced before you hire a professional editor. If you don’t understand the feedback you are given, then it really will be a waste of time and money.
We Can Help Published Authors Offer A Higher Quality Manuscript:
For published authors, a freelance editor can provide an additional level of refinement to your manuscript. Some freelance editors will claim that “publishers are so busy now that you can’t expect your in-house editor to provide the quality of editing that your book needs to really stand out.” That is, in many cases, a bunch of nonsense. The in-house editors I’ve had have been fantastic to work with, and I’ve become a better writer because of them. But there have been many times as I’m writing my first draft that I wish I had someone to give me feedback and advice without waiting until my in-house editor gets the finished work.
That’s where a freelance editor comes in. As a freelance fiction editor, I can look at your manuscript before you send it to your editor, and help you catch problems early on. That means less rewriting for you to do when your revision letter comes back with a deadline of only a few weeks!
No Can Do
Most freelance editors, especially fiction editors, can not rewrite your manuscript for you. For that, you need to hire a ghost writer. Or better yet, learn how to write for yourself.
No Publishing Guarantees:
We can’t guarantee your manuscript will be published, or that your in-house editor will love your work. We can’t help you find a publisher or literary agent or “put in a good word for you” with our own publisher or agent.
No Miracle Working:
We can’t work miracles. We will give you as much feedback as we can on what improvements need to be made, but if the manuscript is badly broken to begin with, we don’t have any magical cures. And the finished product will only be as good as your implementations of our suggestions.
You should NOT hire a freelance editor if…
♦ You are a beginning writer (hire one of our writing coaches instead)
♦ You are content with and challenged by your current critique group
♦ You do not want to hear the truth about your work
♦ You are prone to arguing with or getting angry at people who give you feedback on your work
♦ You want someone to teach you how to write fiction
♦ You want someone to write your novel for you
♦ You don’t have a novel written
♦ You don’t want to, or can’t, put forth the financial commitment
♦ You are only looking into it because someone said you “have” to in order to get published
♦ You have a friend who is an editor and will help you for free (don’t we all wish!)
For writers who decide a freelance fiction editor is not right for them, there are lots of other options. Conferences, writers’ groups, online discussion groups, critiques groups, and books are all extremely important ways to improve your writing craft.
A freelance fiction editor is just one tool in your toolbox—but it’s an awfully useful tool to have around.
Find out what the fiction editors at Fiction Fix-It Shop can do for YOUR writing!