The last time I wrote about an old sci-fi novel (in fact, a Star Trek novel, to be specific), it was Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath’s “The Price of the Phoenix,” a wondeful, campy (and wonderfully campy) new adventure about our old friends Kirk and Spock as they faced a new adversary. The reason for reviewing that book? To set the stage for the review of its sequel, “The Fate of the Phoenix.”
A few days ago, I posted some advice on how to edit your own work when you get to that step in the writing process. Editing is, maybe unfortunately for some, one of the more grueling parts of writing, and for a lot of us, we might not have the chance to have someone else help us. On the other hand, there are those of us out there whose primary focus is editing–specifically, editing the work of other writers. There might be a few different reasons why you’ve been put into the position of “editor;” maybe you’re friends with the person who wrote something and you owe them a favor, maybe you’re a beta reader, maybe it is literally your job to edit the work of other people.
Whatever the reason is (and I’ve been in a number of those positions), here are some of my personal guidelines for editing other people’s work.
This is the first of a two part series; today, I’m going to talk about the process that I go through when editing any of my own work (and that extends to prose as well as essays), and tomorrow I’ll talk about what I do when I’m editing someone else’s work. This might also be a case of, “Do as I say, not as I do,” because there are more of the best practices that I’ve learned to follow, but if I’m in a particular hurry, I don’t always do everything.
In any case: You have written an essay/short story/novel chapter or whatever that you’re going to be presenting to other people–either in person as part of a workshop, for a grade, or posting online for a wider audience. Maybe you have an editor already, which is great, but you’re considerate and don’t want your editor to feel miserable. Here are a few guidelines that I like to follow.
“The Price of the Phoenix” was not the book I was planning on reviewing today. That’s alright, though, since it actually comes before “The Fate of the Phoenix,” which is what I was going to be reviewing, and it’s fair enough to have some solid background.
This is a weird fact about me: when I go hiking (which isn’t something I necessarily love when it’s over 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside), I’m usually watching the ground for mushrooms. I like them and I like the way they look, and that’s why I’m glad I’m reviewing Noah Siegel and Christian Schwarz’s book, “Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast: A Comprehensive Guide to the Fungi of Coastal Northern California.”
It’s been a little while since the last Indie Author Monday was posted, but you can check that one out here. This week, I’m looking at “The Lives of Merfolk” by Chelsea Mason-Basiliere.
It’s been about nine years since the last “Harry Potter” book came out, and I’ll admit it: while I’m not as big a fan of the series as I used to be, there was still some part of me that wasn’t ready to give up on Harry just yet.