Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Insights into Editing: A Conversation with Carin Siegfried Part I


Carin Siegfried, an independent editor in Charlotte, recently spoke to my CPCC fiction writing class on the editorial process. Over the next few weeks I will share  answers to questions the class and I had posed. 

Carol: What are the different types of editing?

Carin: A developmental edit primarily looks at pacing, organization, point of view, and plot, while line editing looks at dialogue, clarity, and word choice.

Copyediting focuses on grammar, spelling, punctuation, accuracy, and consistency. Proofreading is done after the text has been formatted and is for picking up any last missed errors, mistakes, or typos, and any formatting issues such as hyphenation and word ladders.

Carol: Can you tell us a little about the editing process?

CarinAn author trumps an editor. Writers need to stop worrying that “they’ll ruin my book." If you accept no editing however, your book won’t get published.
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    Some suggestions are there to force the author to think through an issue, not to make a change. Sometimes the solution to an issue is not what the editor suggests, but a third option. Here is an example. You can’t hotwire most 2012 cars. A writer who I was working with hadn’t done her research. The solution was not to find what 2012 cars CAN be hotwired, but to switch to a classic car. Issues with authenticity and accuracy will call the author's authority into question.
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    The editorial process should be back-and-forth and always keeps the reader in mind as primary. 
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·        No one is good at editing for all potential issues so it’s good to have a variety of eyes look at your work (writer’s group, agent, editor).

Writers need to remember: Writing is hard work. If it wasn’t 
everyone would be doing it. 


Coming up next: Carin talks about common editing problems. 

18 comments:

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

Thanks, Carol and Carin.

I love all the various editors who contribute to my work.

I especially love that my official editor points out weak areas and lets me figure out how to strengthen them.

Carolyn Abiad said...

Great points! I'm sharing this post. :)

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Carolyn. Caren shared so much of her knowledge with the class. Stay tuned!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks joyce. That is the work of a good editor--and good critique friends like you!

JanieWrites said...

This is good stuff, Carol. I will share this post as well.

Linda Vigen Phillips said...

Thanks, Carol. What a great way to bring this essential part of writing into your class!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Janie! Just wait...there is more!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Linda. I am fortunate to know great members of the local writing community who are contributing to my class!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Thanks for this post, Carol. I love getting insider insights from an editor's p-o-v. It's a great way to learn more about the process.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Clara. Stay tuned-- Carin shared a ton of information with my class which I will pass along to you!

Bonnie J. Doerr said...

I love Carin's example. My husband and I often find little errors in novels due to under researching details. He always picks up errors concerning guns and believe it or not, I recently found an error in referencing hand tools. I knew the color was incorrect for the brand. Go figure. But it was difficult to believe these authors (both incredibly successful) and their editors had missed these errors. Guess I should be ready for when my time comes!

Carol Baldwin said...

Details matter and research is vital-- no matter what type of book you are writing! Thanks for chiming in on this, Bonnie. I know you've done lots of research for your books!

Lisa Fowler said...

Thank you Carol and Carin for sharing this with us. I had no idea there were so many "hands on" a manuscript before the actual publication. As always Carol, you site is a wealth of information!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Lisa. ANd thanks for coming up and saying hello at Writer's Plot! It was a great conference!

wordwranglernc said...

Great interview and fab answers to the questions! I am finding that most editors have your best interest at heart AND the best interest of their company... and that means more books being sold. It's a win-win. :)

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Donna. Yes, a win-win when you connect the right author with the right editor!!

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Carol,
This is a delightful, informative, and inspiring series of interviews with Carin Siegfried. Thank you very much for sharing it with us.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Joan. Glad you're finding it helpful.