#IWSG: Fear of the Unknown

Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group, February 2014 edition. The group was founded by Alex J. Cavannaugh...or one of his clones, we can never be sure...and has its own website loaded with resources for writers.

It seems to me that most insecurities arise from not knowing what to expect. I've noticed it's that way with me and writing. When the story exists only on my laptop and in my mind, everything is marvelous. No insecurities whatsoever. The moment I send a piece of it out for someone else to read? That's when insecurity sets in---because I don' have any idea how they're going to react. And sending out queries? Oy. Then, even if you strike dream-come-true time and a publisher accepts, you've got to face one of the scariest moments of all...handing your baby over to The Editor. Dun dun duuuuun.

You have no way of knowing what they're going to suggest you change, what they're going to demand you change, and whether or not you'll even recognize the fruit of your daydreams by the time the editing process is over. And even if you've been through it before, the process for each story is its own special roller coaster.

So, what do you say we try to take away at least a little bit of the unknown and go straight to an experienced editor to get some answers? The wonderful Kimberly Blythe, Head Editor at Omnific Publishing has graciously agreed to do an interview at my blog. Kimberly primarily does Copy Editing, the very last step before proofreading, but she's occasionally done developmental edits, and I can tell you firsthand from my Divine Temptation experience---she's also served as an excellent intermediary between author and other editors when there are disagreements.

But here's the thing: I'm not going to ask the questions. YOU are. Anything you've ever wanted to know from an editor's standpoint, please ask away in the comments, and I'll post her answers in a couple of weeks. (I want to be respectful of her time, so depending on how many questions I get, I may not be able to forward all of them, but no worries---I've got more editors in my pocket that I will have answer any that don't get forwarded this time.)

So whaddaya wanna know?

Also, for the first time EVER Alex's book, CassaFire is on sale for only 99 cents. Only through the 10th.  Here's a link & a Tweet if you want to share the great news:

“Top Gun Meets Battlestar Galactica” Amazon Best Seller and Pinnacle Award Winner CassaFire on sale .99 http://tinyurl.com/qaz7kxr

Aaaand, don't miss this 10-book giveaway (including Three Daves) to celebrate the release of Moonless by Crystal Collier in paperback!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thank you, Nicki!
I've been through it, so if you've too many questions, you can dump mine.
Do you ever get caught up in the story and forget you are supposed to be editing?

Liz Blocker said...

Hey, very cool idea! I love this. Here's mine: What are some common changes you see editors asking for? I know every book is different, but are there some themes/problems that always seem to pop up?

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Nicki,

MORE SNOW.... I AM OVER IT! LOL. How've been. Miss you tons!

Sadly.I'm stuck here all winter... it figures, right. The worst winter in Chicago for years and I can't escape to Florida. BOOO! LOL.

GREAT idea... ask the editors. But before my question, I so understand where you're coming from with Editor's edits. As you know BG is UNDER ATTACK! My editor is making so many ehem, suggestions. Killing off characters, creating new ones, changing tense, softening the edges of characters, fleshing out characters, changing the ENDING! I mean I'm in a whirlwind and I am only two thirds through.

Yes, it's not the book I started for sure, but it is going in an interesting direction. I don't always agree with the suggestions, but over all... for those who have never worked with an editor... the experience is certainly memorable. LOL.

As soon as I finish the "final" rewrite, I have to send you the "new" version. I know you'll be shocked since you liked the original so much.

EEEK! It's almost turning into a love story... EEK again... Maybe Omnific will like it even more. LOL.

Jackie said...

Awesome idea, Nikki! Thanks for this! :D
As for my question for Kimberly-- You've read the first chapter of a manuscript... what makes you want to keep reading and what would make you pass?

Misha Gericke said...

Awesome idea! I have my own editor, though, so I'll leave the questions for someone who doesn't.

M Pax said...

Winter finally showed up here.

What common mistakes does she see most?

LD Masterson said...

Great opportunity. My question - what is her number one turn off, something that would make her stop wanting to read on?

Rena said...

What a fantastic idea. I was wondering what part of editing is the most commonly addressed? Basic grammar, plot issues, choppy writing?

Suzanne Furness said...

What a great idea, my question is; Is there one piece of editing advice you could give that we could all look out for in our own ms before submitting to an editor or agent?
Thank you :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

How do most editors get paid? (Hourly, salary, by the job if freelance...?) I ask because I read a post from an author who stated that editors get paid a percentage based on sales and that really made me laugh because NO WAY would they work like that!

Maurice Mitchell said...

A great resource for writers Nicki. Great idea.

Jennifer Lane said...

An Alex clone, hehe. So you're worried you may never become an empty nester because there isn't enough stress for one of your kids? LOL.

This is a great tease for the post. I want to know how an editor deals emotionally with having to edit a manuscript that is in a hated genre or is written in a hated style. That would be tough for me!

And I'm so glad you shared Vibby with me. It's a wonderful story!

Kittie Howard said...

Super idea, Nicki! I'd also like to know how editors get paid.

Gina Gao said...

This is such an amazing idea! Thanks for sharing.


Briane P said...

I saw this too late, which is just as well as I don't have any questions meant specifically for an EDITOR, although I do have a great many questions, IN GENERAL.

Questions like "Should I have another slice of pizza?" and "If I do, where will it stop?"

My questions right now are very pizzacentric. That's because we have pizza sitting four feet away. I imagine my questions will get better in time.

Cherie Colyer said...

I'm bummed that I totally spaced on IWGS this month. It's the first time I've missed since I joined. I'm with you on having others read my work. I still get that nervous feeling when I'm sharing an all important chapter with my CPs, thinking what if it's awful? Thanks for sharing the links to Alex's books and the giveaway.