What do you get when you put a handful of writers and one editor in a room for eight hours? Well, the punchline doesn't involve a bar, how to screw in a lightbulb or entering the gates of heaven, but it can lead you to improving your manuscript and ultimately answering the question: How do I hire the right editor?
In August, I explored that question as part of my first writing intensive course: The Writer's Retreat: Ask the Editor. As the owner of Over the Shoulder Editorial, I work with a variety of writing clients in fiction, essay, memoir, and creative writing, in addition to master's students, academics, and corporate clients. The writers who come to me are published and also up and coming. Over time, I've been compiling a FAQ list based on clients' questions related to writing.
Apparently, there is a mystery surrounding what exactly an editor does. For example, many clients ask what is the difference between proofreading and editing? How about the different types of editing, such as copyediting and line editing? How do I know when I need an editor? How do I hire the right editor? What is a developmental edit? How about a Manuscript Overview? Do I have to "Accept" each of my editor's suggestions, or can I "Reject" them (ode to MSWord's Track Changes).
These are all very good questions, so I decided to hold a retreat to help writers get the basics of what an editor does. This is helpful for writers at all levels. You will be able to decide how and when to hire an editor.
Later, when you've moved into your "method draft," (when the story has taken shape and you need guidance), you will want to hire the right person to offer suggestions on story arc, scene development, tension buildup and overall organization.
I am available for writing coaching. Send me an email today to set up your consult.
During the two days, I presented structured workshop sessions and also more informal discussions on how to pitch to an agent, common writer's mistakes and how to improve your MS (see agenda and sample materials below). Also, writers had an opportunity to sit down one/one to receive personalized critique on a sample of their MS. We also covered how to start and join a writer's group, how to write a synopsis, and helpful advice on when to hire an editor. It was a weekend chockfull of information, brainstorming, collaboration, laughing, oh, yea, and good meals and coffee. I too learned a great deal about writer's concerns so that I can be best attuned to their needs and cater to their specific manuscripts. No two writers are alike!
"Apparently, there is a big mystery surrounding what exactly an editor does."
Please contact me if you'd like me to design a special workshop or session for your writer's group, conference, school or event. Also, contact Laura Kemp at Gamble Creek Farm & Studio as she continues to host creative workshops in Poulsbo, WA in writing, art, drawing, and photography.
The editor treats participants to a rendition of the Auxilary Verbs (sung to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy).
Connect with Jennifer on social media:
- Listen to my Podcast "The Whatcom Wordsmith" http://www.jenniferkarchmer.com/podcast.html
- FB (LIKE and Share my page please) https://www.facebook.com/The-Whatcom-Wordsmith-322427831172671/
- Find me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/editor_jk
- Check out my website: http://www.jenniferkarchmer.com/
- Here's a fun piece about New York Times best-selling author Robert Dugoni: http://www.jenniferkarchmer.com/blog/why-a-robert-dugoni-master-class-is-like-a-course-in-film-appreciation