What sort of editor?

You probably already know what sorts of work editors do. Here are some definitions, if not.
* A copy editor deals with issues of grammar, spelling, styling (for instance, does the use of capitalization, of quote marks vs. italics, of hyphenation, etc. follow the styles of the U. of Chicago Manual of Style and of the publishing house’s own style guide?), and–too often—of pre-preparing copy for the typographers.
* A line editor deals with larger issues of sentence construction, avoiding repetition, etc.
* A content editor, or substantive editor, deals with larger issues
of organization, both within and among the book’s chapters.
* A developmental editor deals with even larger issues of the book’s organization, and may suggest adding characters, possible changes in structure or point of view (and even in plot elements), etc.

These functions tend to overlap; for instance, most publishers will combine developmental, content, and some line editing into one job description, termed that of “the editor” or, perhaps, “the substantive editor”; nearly all publishers combine line editing and copy editing into one position, term it “copy editor,” and
pay at the lowest scale they can get away with, whereas some publishers, otoh, combine copy editing with some proofreading and typographic copy preparation and pay at the very lowest scale that they can barely get away with.

With individual clients, editors often combine most of the “higher level” editing functions into one, termed “editing”; a general critique of a manuscript, with few or no edits/comments noted on specific lines or paragraphs, and with a several-page letter developing major points about changes preferable for the manuscript, is called a manuscript critique.

Rates range from $20/hour for basic copyediting from low-paying presses to $90/hour for a manuscript critique with some example edits by a known writer or highly regarded editing professional.
Is this set of defiinitions of use to you? Please do let me know. Remember, this is a new blog, and your input can definitely affect these discussions.


With our own hands

Since we were kids, we’ve each heard: “Most people can never be real Writers!” Just as we’ve heard that most people cannot be musicians, cannot learn algebraic topology, cannot “really” embrace their full feelings, cannot “actually” cause much political change . . . Well, you know who such cautions benefit, don’t you? What the marxists call “the owner class,” that’s who—meaning the Big Owners, the folks who give their kids a publishing house or enough stock to manage a minor country, for a birthday present—the folks who are much happier if we don’t take our (political) destinies in our own hands.

Let’s not listen to such discouragement. Let’s, in fact, take our writing (and other) destinies, to the extent humanly possible, into our own hands. And minds and hearts. And share this empowerment, and mutual encouragement, and skills tips; let’s thus strengthen one another and our writings.

Obviously, we still have to learn and polish our techniques, our skills, our knowledge. In fact, for any of usl, it is necessary, beyond “talent,” to write, to learn the guidelines of grammars and styles, to read the finest of writings, and to write, and to write, and to write.

Welcome to my blog. Here we can discuss the struggles and possibilities of writing and literature, writers and others in the world. This is a new blogsite, begun as my debut novel, The Rescuer’s Path, approaches publication (2012, Plain View Press, $15.95—available beginning in January 2012 through the press and through Amazon, B&N, other online bookstores, and by order through your local independent bookstore).

The Rescuer’s Path tells what happens in 1971 when a Holocaust survivor’s daughter aids a wounded fugitive, a half-Syrian peace activist wanted in the lethal bombing of a U.S. Army truck, and with him must flee an implacable police and FBI pursuit. Then, years later, in the shadow of 9/11, their grown birthdaughter determines to seek her origins . . .

I want to know about your novels, too—and your writing experiences, tips, and struggles. Soon I hope to post guest blogs here (articles 100 to 400 words), so contact me if you would like to contribute one!