Author: Michelle

Now for something new…

I’ve been thinking about the way I work and have decided to have a go at working from a paper copy of the manuscript. When I’m engaged in developmental editing I rely solely on my memory to pick out inconsistencies, which is peculiar, because while I can remember the intricate details and back-stories authors put into their characters and plots, I often forget to pick up the one item of shopping I went out for (usually bread, milk or sugar). One of the reasons for doing this is that I have a few manuscripts that are book ‘ones’ – and while I’m not presumptive enough to assume I will be assisting these authors with additional volumes in the series (although it would be great if I was) – I like to cover all eventualities. As a reader, inconsistencies bug me, and while I am adept at seeking them out in a single book, I need to prepare for the possibility of editing future books and maintaining that consistency through the series. Another reason is complexity. I pre-read all the manuscripts I work on and have a few that I feel are quite intricate and complex. Even before opening them up in a doc. file, I know there are plot threads I need to pay close attention to, not only for ease of readability from a new reader’s point of view,...

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Service agreement / contract

I had my first request from a client for a written agreement the other day (it was on my to-do list to do), which led to me spending hours scouring the internet for examples. A fellow editor very kindly shared a sample agreement with me, but I had to adapt it so it was specific to the service I offer. I could quite possibly have edited a smallish novella in the time it took me to put the agreement together, but I’m glad I spent the time on it, I feel a little bit more like a professional editor: now.     Developmental Editing Service Agreement. This Agreement is made between Michelle Dunbar (‘Editor’) and ___________ (‘Author’) regarding the manuscript detailed below: Working Title: ____________________________________________________ Length & Description of work(s): _____________________________________________   Editorial Tasks: Developmental editing includes two editing passes: Phase 1: The Editor will read the manuscript and make notes of inconsistencies, pacing issues and other instances of concern. Phase 2: Upon conclusion of phase 1 the Editor will use Word’s ‘track changes’ to make suggestions with regards to structure, plot, setting, pace, characterisation and other areas of concern and return the manuscript to the Author.   Delivery: Contingent on immediate signing of this Agreement and receipt of payment as agreed the developmental edit of the work will be delivered to the client no later than: ___________   Payment: The client(s) agree...

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Autumn Seigel: ReAwaken

ReAwaken by Autumn Seigel Series: A New Earth Saga #1 Buy on Amazon Goodreads Arianna Montgomery has no recollection of her past life when she discovers she has a part to play in the new human race. As much as she tries to fight the cause, it may turn out she has a much bigger role to play than she realized. But can Arianna handle the responsibility that’s been thrust upon her when she regains those lost memories? The end is coming…will they be ready? ReAwaken Reviews Reviews from...

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I am a student again – of sorts

I did it – finally – I signed up to the Society for Editors and Proofreaders introduction to copy-editing. I now have six lovely lessons that will (hopefully) put me on the right road to becoming a truly professional copy-editor (with a lot of practice obviously). I’m enjoying the course so far, although I have completely ignored their advice to undertake the two proofreading courses as I have no desire to ever become a proofreader or work with BSI symbols, though I fear both will rear their heads at some point through my training. I have read through the...

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BA (Hons) English Literature

I am thrilled – no, ecstatic – no, amazed, that after six years of study with the Open University I have been awarded a 2:1 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in English Literature. It has been a long journey (mostly enjoyable) although there were a few times when I nearly gave up, plus I chopped and changed degree ‘pathways’ at least four times. Being taken on as an intern for an independent publishing company (Hawkins Publishing Group) in 2013/14 gave me a focus, however. It rekindled my love for getting into the nitty gritty of story development (and gave me a taste for editing). It inspired me to become reacquainted with beta-reading and look into the requirements for becoming a professional editor. I believe trust needs to be earned, so I’ve been working hard over the last year (for free) to gain experience, not only in the actual editing but in the standards and delivery of the feedback I provide. Behind the scenes, I’ve been looking into training and chose to join the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (entry level). I am under no illusion that this suddenly makes me a ‘professional,’ far from it, in fact. Within the society, I am a little fish amongst hundreds of truly experienced professionals. The association has set criteria for upgrading, but my goal for 2015 is to work towards becoming an intermediate member....

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Preeditors and Editors best of poll (2016)

Placed 2nd.

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