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Where Is The Editor???

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In recent years, I have been wondering where the editor is  because in some  YA/MG I've read,  characters sound the same/have the same characteristics or a character will be described as always being a certain way, when, in fact, it is only that one time or a character says something that would have made more sense coming from another character. Why aren't these flaws being picked up by the editor?
#1 - November 24, 2019, 07:07 PM

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ems, I would say flaws in books (not all, of course, but many) have been around for a long time.  My husband is a super fast reader and rarely picks up on the flaws. I'm a slow reader, take on the role of the MC and put myself very much into every scene. As a consequence, I really notice when things don't make sense. Sometimes, the errors really bother me. Other times, I just try to go on and enjoy the book.
#2 - November 24, 2019, 07:53 PM

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Okay, since I am an editor for a couple of small presses, I am going to chime in here and give you my take. Many times I ask myself the opposite question. "Why did this author turn this in with so many mistakes?"

I point out every mistake or unclear section I find. Some of my authors have told me that I am really thorough. So, yes, that makes me wonder about other editors also. But, I do think authors need to get in a good critique group with trusted people who will point this kind of stuff out and who are capable of spotting errors, plot holes, etc.

I was recently assigned to proofread two novels that the authors said they had already proofed themselves. One novel was sent to me with many, many errors even after the author said they proofed it. I feel like some authors dump it all on the editor and expect the editor to catch everything, especially if they are writing a follow up in a book series . I am also an author, and personally, I don't want to put my book out there before I've done everything on my part to make it the strongest story I can make it.

Anyway, that's my two cents from both sides of the table.   :)
#3 - November 25, 2019, 07:18 AM
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I think as writers we cannot completely turn off our editor brains and notice these things. As Ev said, flaws have always been around but if a story is really good, I'll keep reading, despite them. But I also think ems is onto something--most editors I know are spread very thin.

When I first published BOUND, it had a LOT of typos, this in spite of it being copyedited a few years back. Although I revised it again, I don't believe I introduced all those typos. So it went through another round of copyediting after publication and this is definitely something I appreciated about self-publishing--the ability to go in to correct those mistakes. I never want a reader to be pulled out of the story. So, lesson learned. Even though I'm good at developmental- and copy-editing for shorter works, I *need* a copyeditor for longer works like novels.

Melody, I agree. Good critique partners are GOLD. They keep me honest in my writing, don't let me get away with lazy writing, and push me to dig deeper.
#4 - November 25, 2019, 07:55 AM
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In some ways, it's just that every editor is human. Sometimes it's hard not to get caught up in the story. (I've seen this in my crit group that reads out loud. Folks get so caught up they forget to comment.) But some publishers have more than one editing level. There are copy editors and proofreaders. I wonder at basic things that get by and wonder if they were introduced during production as pages were laid out and text was cut and pasted into the format. This is why F & Gs matter an need to be proofread too.

One of the Harry Potter books had about four lines of repeated info. It wasn't exact text, but the scene was the same. It read like Rowling revised the section and never removed the older version. This was one of the later books, so I wonder if it got less attention for one of these reasons: Those books sold really well and that one may have been rushed to print in the edition I read, there were many details in earlier books that didn't seem necessary until you read the later books so editors stopped questioning, she became such a heavy hitter that others were afraid to question what she submitted. I bet there are even more possibilities. But that did pull me out of the story. I had to flip back a page and read the prior version of it to make sure I wasn't wrong that it said the same thing.
#5 - November 25, 2019, 06:26 PM
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In one MG novel I read years ago, it seems as if the copy editor either quit or didn't meet the deadline, because tons of typos started to appear at a particular page. I flipped ahead and the rest of the book was strewn with errors. It was so distracting, I stopped reading the book.
#6 - December 02, 2019, 11:25 AM
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