Monday, September 25, 2017

To Correct and Serve . . . by Nancy Gideon

That breath suspending moment you wait for as an author . . . the return of your edits. You scroll through Track Changes, rapidly accepting all the comma placements, the grammatical corrections with big over inflated names (my favorite: Dangling participial. Always makes me chuckle!) while looking for the important things that make or break your book. There it is. Thank goodness. Comment balloons claiming “LOL!”, “This is AWESOME!”, “This reads like poetry.” The devil may be in the details, but it’s pure heaven when they get the humor! A good editor finds faults. A great editor also applauds strengths.

We all know the drill, even if you're a retired English teacher, don't edit your own work! No, no, never, never! A pair of objective eyes can spot mistakes you skim over, but believe me, a reader will ALWAYS catch. That's not to say give an editor your first draft. Read it, check it. Read it again. Have a BETA reader or two give it a look. Then, and only then, provide it to a professional editor to smooth out potential reader speed bumps.

Now you can disagree with even the best editor. The work you publish is ultimately YOURS. I adore alliteration. Yes, I am fully aware I'm doing it and that it will make editorial teeth grind, but get over it. It's there because I want it there, and I reserve my right to STET loudly. There's also the comma vaguery issues. Different schools, of thought, use, commas differently (this from the William Shatner School of Punctuation). If your school isn't the editor's school but is your school of choice, by all means, site your educational preference! Formatting is something individual, as well. You like italics, they like quotes. You like sentence fragments, they stick in an "and." Again, your call. Pick your battles but let your editor manage the war. If you can't agree and it's giving you an ulcer, get a new editor (even if you're at a New York house, you can request a change for stylistic differences, so don't be afraid to ask, but do not demand).

A good editor can read between the lines to find your meaning but sometimes it can be, again, a subjective though vital interpretation.

I just received my final edits for my October 23 release, PRINCE OF FOOLS. Accept, accept, accept, face palm-Dooh!-change, delete, accept. Surprisingly painless! I've just begun the last read through before it's off to formatting, and man, oh, man, it's smooth. Who knew a little prepositional tweak and added commas could work such magic! (I use Laurie Kuna, my favorite Comma Queen, in case you were wondering!)

PRINCE OF FOOLS is up for pre-order and will be flawless a month from now (and if it isn't, that's on me! Alliteration, you know!). Here's a tease:

A dark prince to her Cinderella barmaid . . .

Rico . . . Prince in the shapeshifter House of Terriot

Reckless, hotheaded Rico Terriot seeks purpose and a sense of pride training the resentful guardians of New Orleans to defend a city besieged by a deadly outside force. Torn between his desire for his brother’s mate and the woman tied to the child of another, protecting their future happiness means denying his own on a dangerous path to redemption.

One night of stolen pleasure he didn’t remember and she couldn’t forget…

Amber . . . a single mother hiding a terrible past

Rico Terriot was the stuff of dreams . . . lately all of hers. But there’s no happily-ever-after for someone living in the shadows, protecting dangerous secrets that threaten her and her daughter. Dare she believe in a fairytale prince when he comes to her rescue, not knowing the price he’ll pay for making her troubles his own? From world’s so far apart, is love strong enough to hold them together . . . and keep them alive?

“5 Captivating Stars (or Hearts)! A stunningly raw, heart racing story that held me in a trance from cover to cover! Intense and seductive paranormal romance/suspense at its best – PRINCE OF FOOLS is another Page Burning, Must Read by an author that delivers every single time!” – Cross My Heart Reviews

To Correct and Serve. It's not just a good idea. It should be a law.

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Nancy Gideon on the Web


Francesca Quarto said...

Loved your thoughts on dealing with editorial changes and your insights into personal style. That's what makes your books unique from any others. It's the "U" in AUTHOR!
Thanks Nancy for being YOU!

Francesca Q.

CJ Burright said...

Prince of Fools sounds awesome, Nancy! It's so great when you find an editor you just mesh with, isn't it?

Diane Burton said...

I second your kudos for your fabulous editor, Laurie Kuna. She's edited some of my books, and done a fantastic job. I never argue comma placement. Repeated verbs give me fits. Each highlight makes me rethink how to express something. A great editor is worth her weight in gold. (I'm sure she'd call that a cliche. LOL)

Victoria Craven said...

I've heard this from you before and I always learn something new. When you read something of mine It's always a great education. I love this blog. Can't wait to read the next book.

Maureen said...

Great attitude on the edits. I find it much easier to edit someone else's work than my own. I think I get too close to the story. Congrats on the release!