Have you ever wondered what keeps you sidetracked?
I find it’s anything that includes excessive detail. I’ll paint the walls, but don’t ask me to paint the trim. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work with editing. Without the details, there would be no editors.
Since this is my first major editing job, I contacted my friend Barb for advice. She warned me not to take the job if I hated the story. ”There’s no sense wasting your time on someone else’s crappy story,” she said.
I was expecting the “writer” (looking for a clean up), at least knew how to write. I felt like the early settlers, cutting their way through dense underbrush of the forests. Stumbling over mounds of unnecessary detail, spelling and grammar errors, and a lack of cohesiveness made me think I should have offered my services as writing instructor, instead.
This poor guy did NOT/ does NOT-
- do a draft revision
- know when to end a sentence
- know the rules of capitalization
- double spaced the text for easier reading and marking
It took me 1000 words to find the story. It’s definitely a science fiction, possibly geared to young readers. It needs a lot of work, though. It’s certainly a long way before a publisher should even be considered.
He showed me an email from an acquaintance who has her own publishing business. She told him exactly what I said. The grammatical and spelling errors are so many, it disrupts the readers ability to read.
I decided to commit myself to 10,000 word increments. I’m at 3,361 words. He’s paid me up front for the first 5,000 words. The manuscript as it stands is upwards of 80,000 words. I broke it down to milestones of 10,000 words. This way, either one of us can stop if we wish to do so.
Before I continue the next 5,000 words, I’m going to require him to print me out a triple spaced copy of the manuscript. I believe this is one reason I’m having such difficulty with this job. It’s extremely hard on my eyes. I realize now, I should have addressed this in the first place. It’s all in the learning.