This time last year, I was about to commence the final semester as an intern for Hawkins Publishing Group. Having sifted through submissions, my new role would involve reading through a full manuscript and provide feedback with regards to plot, characterisation, tone etc. I was nervous about this, having had a rather nasty experience with a writer several years before while beta-reading, but the support and encouragement I received from Hawkins, as well as from friends within a small writing circle, soon helped to revive a little of my confidence.
And so, six months ago, having completed my internship, I decided to re-engage in beta-reading, and it was the best decision I could have made. I still have a bit of a confidence issue when working with a new writer, but I’ve read some wonderful books and chatted with some lovely writers. Some have been published within the self-published marketplace, such as Amazon (KDP). Some are still going through the editing phase and being prepared for submission to traditional publishers, and some are in the very early stages of the writing process.
I realised early on however, that I wasn’t beta-reading as such, but editing. This led me to do a lot of research into how one becomes an editor, what qualifications are required, experience and so on and so forth. I wouldn’t feel comfortable advertising myself as a ‘professional’ just yet, even though I feel confident I can indeed edit. I may not know the names of the parts of the sentence structure, but I do know when a sentence doesn’t sound right, or when a different form of punctuation should be used for dramatic effect.
Last year I got as far as registering with the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (UK) as an associate member. This year will be about engaging in some editing specific training and work towards moving up the ‘ranks’ within the society, completing my English literature degree and launching myself as a ‘professional’ freelance editor.
Best of all though, is the continued opportunity to work with some very talented writers and story-tellers, and to read a variety of Science Fiction and Fantasy books.
So to all my followers, likers, retweeters,.. to all the writers, authors, and everyone else, I wish you a very prosperous and successful writing year.
Lets make 2015 the one.