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(Too?) limited editorial comments - but insightful

(6 Posts)
Pollaidh Fri 06-Oct-17 17:43:16

Has anyone used a freelance editor for a submission package? I've just done that and I had some very useful and insightful comments on the dreaded synopsis. The first 30 pages have also been edited but with hardly any comments. A few specific line comments, a couple of rearranged sentences. A couple of 'expand this so we get to know him better', 'slow the pacing here'. Otherwise they've said they wouldn't want to change voice or style, and described it as 'really lovely'.

I was expecting to find it torn apart with comments and track changes everywhere and am now wondering what to make of it. The MS was pretty polished and has been through multiple beta and critique readers, so maybe it's ready?

I wondered what other writers, more experienced than me, would make of this feedback. I'm obviously relieved there are no major changes needed, but slightly unnerved by the limited comments. They warn in their material that they are thorough editors and the process isn't for the faint hearted.

Is it, with fixes, ready to go, or do I need another editor? Sorry, really difficult question without having seen my writing I know, but any insights gratefully received.

The editor in question is a published author who gets pretty good reviews, who has also edited a number of books including those picked up by major publishers.

ProperTeaPortfolio Fri 06-Oct-17 18:58:41

Firstly, congratulations for getting to this point. It sounds very promising.
Caveat, I am only just at the submission stage now, having canvassed as many opinions as possible. So not more experienced than you at all!

It may well be that it's ready. I think it really depends to an extent on individual tastes, too, though. If you know there are issues you want more help with, then seek another opinion. If you feel it's there and just wanted some reassurance, then that might be fine.

In my own experience, I had one editor who has a very successful literary career and I was hoping would give me concert help with my MS. They gave me lots of 'very lovely, you're almost there, maybe italicise this,' kinds of comments, which I found very unhelpful as the reason I wanted their help was I wasn't convinced it was there.
I then asked another screenwriter/novelist friend who is brutal to help. That person looked at only around 10000 words but helped a lot. Helped me to cut a lot, and helped me to then edit myself later.

I can't figure out whether the first person genuinely didn't think there were issues, or whether they just couldn't really be bothered to look at it properly.

So I guess the moral is, if you think it's ready, then based on all your feedback it probably is.

Good luck

Pollaidh Fri 06-Oct-17 20:21:12

Thanks Propertea and good luck with your own submissions!

It's already been cut from nearly 200k words shock to a submittable length! My two early critique partners (published authors, small scale) did in depth very helpful edits, and a 3rd CP who is a professional line editor and also CPs and betas for fun, saw 2 versions, and on the latest she said she thought it was ready to submit. So I think I'll go back to the freelance editor for clarification 'if I fix this, is it publishable quality?', and if so, submit. Yikes!

Pollaidh Thu 19-Oct-17 12:04:07

Just an update: They loved it and asked for an R&R (which is a whole other post as this one's a bit dead now).

whitehorsesdonotlie Thu 19-Oct-17 12:04:47

Wow, huge congrats, Pollaidh! smile Great news.

Pollaidh Thu 19-Oct-17 12:20:50

Thanks Whitehorses, I'm so happy. I went back to my freelance editor for clarification on her comments and she was very very positive and felt I should go after big agents. The R&R comes from the only place I've actually submitted (via twitter pitch), and is for a small publishing house. I submitted before my freelance agent had seen my work.

My feeling is that I won't resubmit to the publishing house, but will instead go after my top choice agents.

I've my doubts about the R&R so it's not all plain-sailing, so if you've any advise to offer please check out my new therad.

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