E38 – How To Prepare For Your Editor

Show Notes

In this episode, we discuss what to do to prepare for your editor, and what to expect from your editor.

The Revision Wizards are at https://www.revisionwizards.com
V.E. Griffith’s website: https://www.vegriffith.com
Miss Catherine M.H.’s website: https://www.scribes-pen.com

Transcript at: https://revisionwizards.com/?p=2409


Miss Catherine MH 00:00:00
Welcome back to the Revision Wizards podcast. I’m Miss Catherine MH, and I’m joined by the great necromancer and my co host, ve Griffith. We’re talking about that dreadful time. No, not that one. You know, the one where you have to get ready for your editor.

VE Griffith 00:00:17
This is episode 38, and we’re also going to go over what to expect back from your editor when they’re done. So let’s get into it. Miss Catherine, take us away.

Miss Catherine MH 00:00:27
Sure thing. First thing you do is you run around screaming and panicking. This is not a drill. You run around screaming and panicking. I’m just joking. That’s not what you do. I mean, you could. You could do that. But first thing that you would do is to make sure that your manuscript is all in one document. That’s really important. Some of us like to write it in multiple different places. Some of us like to use that evil thing called script. But most editors are going to want it back in a word document, right, ve?

VE Griffith 00:00:59
Yeah. Word has some standard features in it that make editing a lot easier and make receiving your edits a lot easier, most particularly the tracked changes. Feature track changes does exist in Google documents, but most editors are going to prefer word. If in doubt, ask your editor. But generally speaking, they’re going to prefer word, depending on the tools they’re using. They may also want smaller than your entire manuscript documents. That depends on what they’re going to be doing. Sometimes for client work, especially if it’s long, I have to break it up into multiple documents so that I can run it through some of my tools. That’s going to be something that your editor wants to go over with you before you send them your work in.

Miss Catherine MH 00:01:44
General, you’re going to have it in a word document. You’re going to want it double spaced and times twelve. Numenor Roman, something like that.

VE Griffith 00:01:56
Times New Roman twelve.

Miss Catherine MH 00:01:57
Thank you. Send it in. That. That is the standard for what you’re going to be giving when you give it over to your editor. Another thing to do, which will save time, depending, of course, what type of editor is look for double spacing. If you are like me, go do the search and replace. Find all your double spaces and turn them into one. It will save time. It also saves extra money on things that they’re not having to edit that part. What’s one of the other big things that they should check before sending it off to an editor?

VE Griffith 00:02:33
One of the things that I recommend folks check for is something called non breaking spaces. To be able to see them you have to turn on non printing characters in settings and you can google how to do that because I don’t remember it off the top of my head, and it’s. And technical support is beyond the scope of this podcast. But you can. They’re represented in Microsoft Word. Instead of dots for spaces, they’re little circles between words for spaces. And what they do is they prevent word from breaking a line as a word wrap. And so you wind up with lines that really look funny or are too short. I have seen them come in from tools like Autocrit, where you’re having to paste into a web page, and then you copy back out of autocrit, off of the webpage and put it back into your document. I’ve seen them come in from things like that. So if you remove them, that makes it a little easier for your editor when they’re looking at your document. Also, it helps you down the line when you get to formatting, because those spaces will mess up your formatting as well.

Miss Catherine MH 00:03:40
Yeah, that was a problem I had when I used autocrit and then transferred it back, it took out all of my formatting. So if you are transferring from a different device, make sure that the formatting that you are expecting, like if you have something italicized, go back and make sure that it came out of whatever you’re posting it pasting it from as italicized. I’ve had that where, you know, my inner thoughts for my writing are all italicized. And I copied and pasted it from something and it removed all of my the italic words. So I had to go through and redo that section. So do give your manuscript a look over before you hand it to your editor. It’s, it’s like that last minute check when you’re gonna like hand in a test. You’re looking, did I fill in all the little bubbles? So that’s exactly what you’re going to do with this. You’re going to make sure that you’ve double spaced that it’s all in one document. Most of the time. That’s what your editor requires. You’re going to make sure that it is in twelve font of the roman thingamabobber. And you can look that one up. There’s a font for that? I’m just kidding. There probably is, but don’t put it in the thingamabobber. So put it in the new times Roman. Did I get that right? Times Newman Roman. Okay, so twelve font times new Roman. There we go. I know it. It’s on my computer and make sure that you’ve got no double spacing and look for those non breaking spaces for your character. You see why we’re a team. When I sent my poor manuscript to him, he was like, I send it back, go do this. And I was like, I could do that. And then I was like, teach me how to do it. So, so clearly that’s what I had to do. Any other big things that you should prepare for before sending it to an editor?

VE Griffith 00:05:45
The other big thing that I always recommend to folks is run it through Prowritingaid or Grammarly or autocrit at the very minimum. One of those the reason is that’s going to catch stuff that’s simple to fix, that your editor isn’t going to want to spend time fixing. Unless you’re going to pay your editor to run it through Grammarly for you, do it yourself. That makes it just go that much faster for your editor, and it catches missing periods, it catches commas, it’ll even catch passive voice. So, so it’s worth a month’s subscription to Grammarly. And these tools all either accept Microsoft Word documents or they integrate directly with Microsoft Word or with Google Docs so that you can edit your document with Grammarly or prowritingaid or autocrit altogether at the same time, right in your word processor. If you’re using Scrivener, I personally recommend using Prowritingaid. The paid version of Prowritingaid has a desktop application that opens Scrivener files directly, and it looks just like the Scrivener binder. So you can just go to each of your little documents, run it on there, and it will update your scrivener document directly. The only thing you got to make sure of is that you have shut down Scrivener first, make sure Scrivener is completely closed before you open Prowritingaid. Other than that, it’s very straightforward and it’s very simple. The other thing I’d want to pay attention to if you’re using Scrivener is to make sure that your output settings are correct. On compile, it’s pretty straightforward, using the default settings to get a word document that looks decent, and then you can just do a little cleanup. Formatting in word. But compile settings can be complicated, so if you need to refer to the manual or go to one of the support groups, or go to Reddit to the Scrivener subreddit and ask for a little help on compile, compile really is difficult in Scrivener version three, so, but.

Miss Catherine MH 00:07:54
That’S because Scrivener’s the devil.

VE Griffith 00:07:57
Yeah. It’s because it’s very powerful.

Miss Catherine MH 00:07:59
So is the devil. The other thing I think, to really think about when you are getting ready for the editor is that you have to prepare yourself to not look at this book when it’s gone. You are going to be taking a break from it. You’re not going to go back in and try editing because, no, like, you’re done with it. You’ve handed it off to someone else, and that is that. So make sure that you are ready for that, that you have something else to do. Maybe you’ve got that rabbit shiny object that has taken off and you’re like, I’m going to go work on that for as long as my editor is with my book. And then set yourself that deadline of, hey, my editor is getting back to me on two months from now. I’ve put it on my calendar. I can be excited about it. Here’s my book. I’m not looking at it for two months because you don’t want to have to try to, like, send your editor something and be like, hey, I know you’ve been editing my book for a while, but I changed, like, this whole section. Could you, like, just edit this, too? That will drive them insane.

VE Griffith 00:09:05
Yeah, they’re not going to want to do that. Once you send it to your editor, you need to. You need to close it. Quit making changes. You’re done until the editor gets it back to you. That is really important for your editor because if you say, oh, I have changed chapter 28 and they’ve already finished with 28, then you’re asking them to go back, change the document, re edit. If you’re going to do that, you should expect to pay a premium. If I were asked to, if I were asked to do that, I would punish you by making you pay a lot of extra money. So don’t do that.

Miss Catherine MH 00:09:40
All right, so you’ve sent off your manuscript. You’ve now waited the imaginary two months that we’ve decided for this moment, and you’re going to get your stuff back. Ve, what should we expect back?

VE Griffith 00:09:53
What you’re going to get back is typically a word document, or depending on the length of your manuscript, multiple word documents. You’re going to have tracked changes where the editor has made changes in the document and or made comments in the document that show up when you turn track changes on. If you don’t see those comments, go to the review tab and click on track changes and show them. They will light up your manuscript in red, and there will be bubbles on the right side with comments. So you want to pay attention to that. You’re going to get back typically a feedback letter that’s going to go over sort of the high level stuff that your manuscript that your editor noticed. So, for example, if you are consistently using passive voice, your editor is going to talk about that. If you are consistently using weird constructions or some kind of grammatical error that you’re doing consistently, they’re going to point that out. If you have big plot holes that you need to know about, your editor may point that out, depending on the type of edit that you’re doing. So read that letter, go through it very carefully because your editor has constructed it very carefully and has constructed it specifically for you. It’s not a generic. Here are the top ten things that my clients run into. That’s not what they’re doing. They’re creating a letter specifically for you, specifically tailored to your manuscript, so you want to pay attention to it. A lot of times they’re going to give you suggestions about how to fix your manuscript in a way that is consistent with your author voice. I know that when I go through a client’s manuscript and I’m making changes to their sentences, I want to try and use their word choice as much as possible. If I can’t do that, I’m going to flag the sentence. I’m going to flag the section and say it needs to be rewritten in active voice. It needs to be rewritten from this other character’s perspective because you’ve got a viewpoint shift or it’s written from the wrong point of view or whatever the issue is. I’m not going to sit down and rewrite the whole chapter for you. You need to do that, but here’s how to do it. So those are the kinds of things that you can expect. You should also expect timely communication from your editor. I have run into situations where an edit has taken me longer than I expected. I needed more time. As soon as I knew that I needed more time, I was in touch with the client and we agreed to an extension of time or an extent, you know, changing our agreement or whatever it was. Make sure that, you know, you’re available for your editor and that you’re paying attention to your email so that they can get in touch with you.

Miss Catherine MH 00:12:40
Also know that you’re going to get a lot of emotions back. Just yourself. Like, you’re going to get the excitement of having your editor send you things, the nervousness of having your editor send you things because it’s like getting that grade in school when you worked really hard on a project and you’re like, yes, I know. I’ve done the best. I’ve done the amazing thing. And then that teacher hands it back and they’re like, that’s a D. And you’re like, what? How is that a D? So it’s not exactly the same, but you’ll have those nerves and that excitement of, I’ve gotten this back. I can make this book better. It’s getting there. And sometimes you’re seeing a lot of red on a page and it can be discouraging. Know that that’s okay. You can put it to the side. And I highly recommend that. Is that cool? I’ve gotten my stuff back from the editor, and maybe I’ve looked over it and do not respond right away, minus the thank you for sending me this. I will look it over because you’re going to need a little bit to take a break and to really, like, understand what they were saying because it can hit you hard. These are your babies. You’ve killed your darlings. Now somebody else is killing it. It hits you a little bit differently. I mean, I sent you the videos of when you, you sent me my stuff. Most of them were like, oh, this is fine. This is fine. And then finally I got to that one page where I was like, what the, Aaron? Like, what the hell is this? This is not okay. So, yeah, there are times where you will feel that and you do not take it out on your editor. That is something you should expect, and your editor expects you not to take it out on them. So definitely give yourself that leeway of knowing that there’s going to be a lot of emotion to editing and getting your stuff back.

VE Griffith 00:14:41
So expect that the last thing, a lot of times that an editor will do with you. And this is going to depend on the editor, and it’s going to depend on the agreement that you have with them in the particular services that you bought. But you may also get a voice call or a Zoom call with them to discuss the specifics of your manuscript. If they do that, you want to make sure that ahead of time, you have prepared some questions to ask them. If you want to ask them specific questions for feedback. I know that when clients do that with me, it winds up being that the call is much more useful to them. So, you know, have those questions prepared. Was the dialogue believable? What were the consistent problems that I had? Whatever your question is, did you see any giant plot holes? Whatever your question is have those written down and ready for you when you go into that meeting, your editor typically will record the meeting for you and send you a copy of the recording, or at least I do that so that you don’t have to sit and take notes. Instead, you can be present in the meeting and then you can take your notes later on the replay at your pleasure. So most editors will do that, some will not. It just depends on the editor.

Miss Catherine MH 00:16:01
And that’s something you can ask them when you are, you know, what to expect when you’re getting your stuff ready for the editor, know what you’re going to be going into, what the agreement was. So this way, when you get your stuff back, you know exactly what you should be getting back.

VE Griffith 00:16:18
And the other thing to make it is to pay attention to is understanding what you’re paying them and what you’re paying them for. So make sure that you have a firm agreement about the amount of money or the amount of time or the amount of whatever it is the metric is that you’re paying them for. Make sure you understand what that is and understand that it’s going to be a pretty significant investment. We’ve got an episode coming up specifically about what it costs to be an independent author. But a good editor on a reasonable size manuscript may cost you a couple thousand dollars. So don’t be surprised at that kind of price. And if you can’t swallow that kind of price, I certainly understand, but editing is not a cheap service because it’s somebody sitting down line by line and looking at your stuff, and it’s just time consuming, and so it just costs money. You know, the, the, the editor has to eat, too. So, you know, that’s, that’s the kind of thing that you need to, you need to pay attention to and go in with eyes open.

Miss Catherine MH 00:17:20
And while there are a lot of AI things that are out there, they still don’t have the human connection that we do. So they might not understand a few of the little jokes or the humor that, you know, humans would. So they might edit things out differently than a living person would because we understand interactions, we can see interactions, and we understand human emotion and what it does. So at this point in time, the AI systems, they’re good, but they’re not that good yet. Yeah.

VE Griffith 00:17:54
One of the things that they can’t do very well is they can’t do story structure. They don’t have enough memory to hold 100,000 word manuscript in their, in their heads and analyze them from a story structure perspective. Only a human can do that. They can go through paragraph by paragraph and look at your missing commas and your backwards periods and, you know, your dangling modifiers, but they cannot understand the story structure that you have put together. If you have multiple points of view, they’re not going to catch that. They’re not going to catch incorrect points of view. They’re not going to correct viewpoint shifts. They’re not going to correct head hopping. So those are things that require the human touch. AI is good for what it does, but it doesn’t do everything.

Miss Catherine MH 00:18:42
So. Yeah, I don’t. I don’t know. Is there anything else to get ready for that you can think of off the top of your head?

VE Griffith 00:18:49
That’s the best that I can do. I think that pretty well covers it. Again, I would emphasize that it’s okay to take some space from the manuscript. I commonly hear from clients that, or, and from other authors who hire other editors that they get back their editor letter and they get back their manuscript and they read it. And that sucker didn’t understand any part of my manuscript and he totally botched it. And this whole thing sucks. And they take a week and then they go back and they read the editor letter again. And it turns out the editor was actually fucking right most of the time. Most of the time.

Miss Catherine MH 00:19:29
Sorry, I just have to throw that in there at you occasionally.

VE Griffith 00:19:32
Yeah. Yeah. So. And, you know, when in doubt, just make sure. Just understand that your editor does have your interest at heart and is trying to help you make your edit the. Make your manuscript to the best that it can be. Everybody is on the same team, even if we’re pulling in a little bit different directions and we don’t. We’re pulling on different threads. We’re all trying to go to the.

Miss Catherine MH 00:19:54
Same place, and your editor is not going to steal your manuscript because then they have to do the edits that they put in there and they have to make sure things are going well, and then they have to spend the money to get it published. And honestly, it’s too much of a hassle. So don’t ever worry that they’re. It’s very rare that someone is going to steal your manuscript.

VE Griffith 00:20:15
In all of the time I have been writing, I have never heard of it happening. It just doesn’t. It’s not a thing. Your editor can be invested in your manuscript and can be invested in you, but they’re not going to steal your stuff. It’s just. It’s not. It’s not a thing. You don’t need a non disclosure agreement and some editors will refuse to sign a non disclosure agreement because they just don’t want the entanglement. You know, it’s not. It’s not that big a deal. Nobody’s going to steal your stuff. Every story has been written anyway. The way you have written it is unique to you. If I’m going to steal your story, I’m going to completely rewrite it anyway. It doesn’t matter.

Miss Catherine MH 00:20:52
It’s not.

VE Griffith 00:20:53
By the time I’m done with it, it’s not going to be your story anyway.

Miss Catherine MH 00:20:56
You know, it’s too much work, to be honest. If you hand in, like, if I handed you scandals pen and you were to, like, rewrite that, that would have been so much work for you to do, like.

VE Griffith 00:21:07
Yeah, yeah. I would have had to cut the first 14 chapters to start with and.

Miss Catherine MH 00:21:12
Made it one point of view.

VE Griffith 00:21:14
Yeah, exactly. It’s just. That’s not a problem to worry about. Of all the problems you’re gonna have, it’s more likely that your editor is going to lose your manuscript in a computer crash and not have a backup then it is, and you’re gonna have to send it to them again than it is that they’re gonna steal your stuff. It’s just. That’s not a problem to worry about.

Miss Catherine MH 00:21:33
Yeah, I can’t think of anything else.

VE Griffith 00:21:35
I can’t either.

Miss Catherine MH 00:21:36
Off the top of my head, I think we did well.

VE Griffith 00:21:38
Okay. So at this point, I guess we’ll go ahead and sign off and we’ll see everybody next time.

Miss Catherine MH 00:21:46
Stay magical.

VE Griffith 00:21:47

Miss Catherine MH 00:21:48
Thank you so much for joining us for today’s episode. You can find every episode on your favorite podcast player and on YouTube. For transcripts, please visit our website at revisionwizards.com. They go live the same day as our episodes.

VE Griffith 00:22:03
If you’d like to reach out to us separately, you can find me at vegriffith.com and Miss Catherine at scribes-pen.com.

Miss Catherine MH 00:22:03
stay magical.

VE Griffith 00:22:03
Welcome to the Revision Wizards podcast. I’m ve Griffith, and I am joined by. I’m going to do that again.

Miss Catherine MH 00:22:22
Yeah, because I’m doing the intro. Maybe if you look at what to expect from your editor, you can go and see that I’m rewriting it for us.

VE Griffith 00:22:30
Oh, you’re in the other document.

Miss Catherine MH 00:22:34
The podcast document.

VE Griffith 00:22:36
Yes. I was still looking at the spreadsheet at the schedule.

Miss Catherine MH 00:22:41
Welcome back to the Revision Wizards podcast. This is season three. We are totally happy to be back. I’m Miss Catherine. No, it’s season three.

VE Griffith 00:22:51
No, it’s season two.

Miss Catherine MH 00:22:52
It’s season three. We did a break before.

VE Griffith 00:22:56
No, we didn’t.

Miss Catherine MH 00:22:57
Yes, we did.

VE Griffith 00:22:58
No, we didn’t.

Miss Catherine MH 00:23:00
Yes, we did.

VE Griffith 00:23:01
Now I’m gonna come podcast.

Miss Catherine MH 00:23:03
No, we’ve done a break before.

VE Griffith 00:23:06
No, we haven’t. I promise. I promise.

Miss Catherine MH 00:23:10
It was like, a month long.

VE Griffith 00:23:13
We may have taken off from recording, but we didn’t take off from publishing.

Miss Catherine MH 00:23:20
I’m pretty sure we did.

VE Griffith 00:23:23
Okay, who does the publishing?

Miss Catherine MH 00:23:27
Does that matter? Fine way to kill. The way I was having and super excited. I’ll just do a regular intro. Welcome to the revision Wizards like podcast. I’m Miss Katherine. Mh.

VE Griffith 00:23:45
Okay. I have enough miles to fly up there and smack you.

Miss Catherine MH 00:23:50
You can come up for memorial weekend. I have my engagement party.

VE Griffith 00:23:56
You don’t want me at that.

Miss Catherine MH 00:23:59
I don’t remember what I said from the first one, but it was good. I was excited. I was happy. I was ready to be back now. I’m not ready to be back now. I just want to sit there and be, like, having popping gum with, like, some neon, like clothing, but be totally gothic about it and be like, welcome to the rear Vision wizards.

VE Griffith 00:24:16
Well, you could go Valley girl.

Miss Catherine MH 00:24:20
I could do Valley girl. Welcome to the revision wizard. Welcome to the Revision Wizards podcast. I’m Miss Kevin. Mh, and I’m joined. No, we’re not doing that either. But these are great bloopers for you. There you go.

VE Griffith 00:24:34
Yeah, they’ll go on the end of the episode. Don’t worry.

Miss Catherine MH 00:24:37
We could do some British there. I could be like, welcome to the Revision Wizards podcast. I’m Miss Katherine. Mh, and I’m joined. No, I don’t even like that. That’s rough. That’s rough. That was a bad accent. I’ve done better.

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