As an independent writer, I understand the importance of hiring a professional editor. Thus far, I have used two that greatly improved my work--caught mistakes, made me think, saved me a lot of embarrassment.
Finding an editor can be a daunting task. I've ran into a few that seemed almost hostile to authors, waging a fear campaign that suggests there are secret agencies hunting any writer who claims to have a reasonable grasp of the English language and story telling. So when I am shopping for a professional editor, I seek a skilled professional with respect for writers and readers. In short, I will be spending a lot of correspondence time with my editor, and I'd like the experience to be pleasant. Both editors that I've used, Samantha LaFantasie and BZ Hercules (Beth) are easy to work with and have the ability to correct my mistakes and encourage my development at the same time.
Editors I recommend:
Samantha LaFantasie edited Enemy of Man and Son of Orlan. BZ Hercules (Beth) edited my newest Urban Fantasy / Horror novel Die Like a Man. Both editors did excellent work for a great price.
How I chose BZ Hercules for this project:
I wrote Die Like a Man several years ago and kept coming back to it. The plot and the narrative style are intense, the hero flawed, and the stakes as high as they can be in Urban Fantasy. The protagonist has the power to do good or evil, and may be losing his ability to tell the difference.
Since this was a new book, parallel to but separate from my previous urban fantasy / crime thrillers, I decided to hire an additional editor while my first editor worked on my science fiction series. I'd seen BZ Hercules on Twitter, and did some research.
After browsing her web page intently, I selected the Triangulation Service from BZ Hercules for Die Like a Man. This gave me editing, proofreading, and beta reading all in one package for a great price. Beth was prompt in all correspondence and delivered everything she promised and more.
One thing I really liked:
She provided two copies of the edits, a raw version and a cleaner, easier to read version with much of the Track Changes finalized. This must have taken her a lot of extra work, but I liked it because it made my review and revision much faster. All I had to do was read the manuscript, change what I wanted, and refer to the original raw edit when I had questions. I emailed her several times, and she answered right away.
Where I found peace of mind:
With each new editor or proofreader, a writer encounters different opinions and advice. A quick check of the Chicago Manual of Style, and online grammar sites, revealed that BZ Hercules knew her business. The corrections BZ Hercules made were grammatically correct and insightful. I came to embrace them, just as I had learned from other editors and proofreaders.
I enjoyed working with BZ Hercules so much:
...that I immediately started writing with renewed enthusiasm, confident I had found a true professional I could trust with the labors of my imagination.
Thanks for reading my blog. Have a great day, and may everything you read be wondrous.
When I finish writing a book, I set it aside and move to a new project. That way I am always fresh for revision and editing. I have completed first drafts in as little as forty days or as long as eighteen months. Either way, by the time the final scene flows across the page, I am excited, but drained. Stephen King suggested in his book, On Writing, to take a break at this stage and I have followed his advice.
I worked on several projects after publishing Dragon Badge, but spent a lot of time learning about the self-publishing industry, marketing and promoting, and social media. I already had a draft of the second book in the series. After reading what I had a couple of times, I decided to start from scratch, salvaging a few scenes I liked, but planning the second book to answer questions from the first and further develop the fantasy elements.
At the same time, I was eager to publish a second book, so once I finished the rewrite of what was called Machine Gun Knight and later The Darklord’s Boys, I put it away and edited a science-fiction book I wrote years ago called Wormbright and shared it with critique readers. In the end, I decided I liked Wormbright, but it did not blow me away. What can a writer do with such a revelation? The answer, as painful as it seems, is to start completely over. So I wrote an outline from scratch, changed the title and some names my critique readers did not care for, and went to work. The result became Enemy of Man: Book One in the Chronicles of Kin Roland.
Now I return to the sequel of Dragon Badge. Why am I changing the title? Feedback on the book title(s) was decidedly negative. I decided it was time to put my ego and preferences aside. So what is the name of the second Dragon Badge book? I am still working on it, but it will be revealed in the Dragon Badge Newsletter.
Life is an adventure. I read to expand my horizons and write because I must.
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