Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

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Shockhawk
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Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby Shockhawk » Sat May 23, 2020 5:35 pm

Greetings Writers -

I was wondering if any of your got any of your quarterly pieces professionally edited before submitting them.

I’m new to this game but I have noticed that a lot of the previous winners thanked spouses for editorial work... what if we don’t have wonderful editorial spouses? Or amazingly smart friends who are willing to edit?

Do any of you less than fortunate writers pay professionals for help on your submissions?

Shockhawk
Vol 37 - X, R, R, P

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disgruntledpeony
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby disgruntledpeony » Sat May 23, 2020 5:55 pm

Shockhawk wrote:Greetings Writers -

I was wondering if any of your got any of your quarterly pieces professionally edited before submitting them.

I’m new to this game but I have noticed that a lot of the previous winners thanked spouses for editorial work... what if we don’t have wonderful editorial spouses? Or amazingly smart friends who are willing to edit?

Do any of you less than fortunate writers pay professionals for help on your submissions?

Shockhawk


I don't have the money to pay an editor, but I've participated in critique trades with many people on the forums over the years. That can be a helpful way to go.
If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells

R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, ?, ?

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Henckel
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby Henckel » Sat May 23, 2020 6:11 pm

Good question. I've entered the contest about 6 times over the last few years and have never hired an editor. Given the cost, I'd have to be very very confident in a story before hiring one.
(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – R
(2020) V37 Q2 – HM
(2020) V37 Q3 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q4 – pending
(2021) V38 Q1 - ???

TimE
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby TimE » Sun May 24, 2020 1:10 am

September Fawkes has helped a winner - see https://www.septembercfawkes.com/p/testimonials.html
As has Harry de Wulf - see https://harrydewulf.com/award-winning/

I got a quote from September to see what she thought of an entry of mine that had been rejected. She made a few complimentary remarks about the sample I sent, but it was a long piece. It would have been expensive to have paid for the various aspects of editing of the whole lot. After looking for reasons for rejection from mag. editors, I decided I had little to gain - I could see why it failed.
I do keep thinking about getting an edit from her, but it seems a Catch 22. If I'm not pretty sure it's a winner then it feels like money wasted. And I think I have a winner, how much extra polishing does it need? And apart from that, I'm not sure I could tell a winner - I don't like a few in Vol 36.
I reckon originality is the biggest factor in winning - and volume 36 in particular reflects that. An editor can't put originality into a story. But then was it Mike Wood in his recent podcast who said what a difference a pro editor makes.
Some HMs More Rs - I keep thinking I'm getting closer, but perhaps not.
CWA-Debut Dagger shortlist. https://thecwa.co.uk/colours/ (Still trying to find my genre - but perhaps it's scifi - and perhaps it's not)

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chuckt
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby chuckt » Sun May 24, 2020 5:38 am

Review by the right person with the right experience can be extremely helpful. Be it a paid editor or a really good writer.
36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, ?

TimE
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby TimE » Sun May 24, 2020 6:09 am

chuckt wrote:Review by the right person with the right experience can be extremely helpful. Be it a paid editor or a really good writer.


As Kate would testify to after her win.
Some HMs More Rs - I keep thinking I'm getting closer, but perhaps not.
CWA-Debut Dagger shortlist. https://thecwa.co.uk/colours/ (Still trying to find my genre - but perhaps it's scifi - and perhaps it's not)

einstein36
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby einstein36 » Sun May 24, 2020 6:40 am

Like they said, the right person with the right experience can help you if you want to hire editor like Carrie Callahan:)...
Vol.36(Q3)-R
Vol.36(Q4)-R

AjZach
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby AjZach » Sun May 24, 2020 8:48 am

I haven't hired an editor, but the library in my city has a writer in residence every year. I saw him twice, and each time sent him part of my story that I was intending to enter (they were limited to 3000 words at a time). He gave a line by line critique and plenty of other help, all for free, plus the experience of a published author.
Maybe you have access to a program like that near you.
R, R, R, R, HM, R, HM, HM, R, SF,?

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Shockhawk
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby Shockhawk » Tue May 26, 2020 2:53 am

Great answers! Thank everyone!!

I will definitely check the local library and use the exchange thread.

Shockhawk
Vol 37 - X, R, R, P

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Wulf Moon
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue May 26, 2020 3:50 pm

I do freelance editing--it's a major portion of my income--both fiction, nonfiction, and audio editing as well. I also had my own publishing company, designing complete marketing systems for startup companies in the financial sector, including their corporate logos, brochures, newsletters, and advertising campaigns. I've done editing for bestselling authors, and even Dave has sent me a client. So I might be qualified to comment. I will simply say this. When I was a skier, I used to take lessons from a pro at the start of each season. If I could afford a private lesson, I did, because there is no better way to grow your skills faster than to get a lesson from an expert that turns his trained eye upon you.

And that is what a good editor is. A teacher. A private tutor. Even one lesson will put you ahead in your game. And if you can afford to keep hiring them, they become your writing coach.

A qualified editor can shave years off a writer's learning curve.

If you can't afford one, take one of their workshops. It's like a group lesson.

And that is all I have to say.
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY 2019.
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SwiftPotato
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby SwiftPotato » Wed May 27, 2020 5:07 am

For what it's worth, my winning piece was edited by my husband (who barely reads fiction at all) and one friend (who writes, but occasionally). :) However, as others have said, having a professional look at your work can be valuable, as long as you take their advice and apply it to both that story and your future stories. Sometimes a person who's seen it all is just what your story needs. On the other hand, though, lots of people swear by the crits they receive on the forum. Plenty of people here are excellent critters, and many of them hang around the critique exchange boards. At the end of the day, it's up to you and what you feel your story needs. Best of luck!
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

Stories in Apocalyptic and Cossmass Infinities

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AlexH
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby AlexH » Wed May 27, 2020 11:53 am

I had stories professionally edited the year I started taking my writing seriously and submitting to WotF. I'm definitely a better writer because of that.

I sent my recent HM story to Mica Scotti Kole (an editor and recent WotF winner) and have just read her excellent feedback on the story. It makes me wonder how the story got HM in the first place. There are things that will make the story instantly better and a couple of things I'm struggling to get my head around, but if I can, it'll make the story much much better and give it a much greater chance of being published. There are always lessons for future stories in feedback too.

I envy those who can write stories, get a couple of people they know to read them, edit and then get them published! I doubt it's as easy as I make that sound.
35: - R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: HM HM HM ?

Probably free for critique swaps, but double-check in case I'm away.

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Dustin Adams
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby Dustin Adams » Thu May 28, 2020 10:02 am

My wife is a professional author and gets paid well to critique manuscripts. I'm very lucky to have her to read my stories. I still haven't won. But that's totally on me. I just don't write enough words to flex the muscles needed to hit one out of the park.

That said, I have a few readers that go over my earlier drafts. I do my best to get it submission ready, then give to her. She says, "You don't think this is ready, do you?" And I miss another quarter.

My issue is almost always a lack of "character" (whatever that is). I try to explain it's not as important in WotF because we're going for the Big New Idea. (Did I mention I still haven't won?) But when it comes to the 450, try-fails, Save the Cat, and denouement, I'm solid. I'm pretty good at my own copy editing as well.

My point? I do believe a pro could give you a leg up. If the staircase is 10 stairs, they will fully carry you for one of them, but you have to do the other 9. If you can afford it, go for it. It's only money (said jokingly, but factually).
2x Finalist
1x Semi
4x Silver
9x HM
Eight EDF stories. DSF: Short Story. My Semi-F My Finalist #1

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Wulf Moon
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu May 28, 2020 1:08 pm

Dustin Adams wrote:My point? I do believe a pro could give you a leg up. If the staircase is 10 stairs, they will fully carry you for one of them, but you have to do the other 9. If you can afford it, go for it. It's only money (said jokingly, but factually).


Great point, Dustin. Freelance editors will help, but we still have to do the work. No way around it.
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY 2019.
Learn the Secrets of a Howling Good Plot! https://bit.ly/37CYwpZ

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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby LDWriter2 » Thu May 28, 2020 7:09 pm

I have paid an editor more than once, more than three for that matter but most of the time not. So far it has been no difference with Dave's responses so I am not inclined to spend the money.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Dustin Adams
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby Dustin Adams » Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:53 am

Joshua Essoe is releasing 5 how-to books based on what he sees during his professional editing.
The first is available for $3 on Kickstarter if you are interested.
For higher pledges, his editing is available.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jo ... escription
2x Finalist
1x Semi
4x Silver
9x HM
Eight EDF stories. DSF: Short Story. My Semi-F My Finalist #1

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Wulf Moon
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:15 am

I know Joshua from Superstars--he's Tribe. He is friendly and funny. I noted he recently got an HM in Writers of the Future, so he likes the contest. Kary English uses him for her larger works, and says he is thorough. I am sure his books will have good insights on writing.
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY 2019.
Learn the Secrets of a Howling Good Plot! https://bit.ly/37CYwpZ

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Dustin Adams
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Re: Professional Editor for WOTF piece?

Postby Dustin Adams » Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:36 am

Right, I forgot to mention he does have a finalist to his credit.
2x Finalist
1x Semi
4x Silver
9x HM
Eight EDF stories. DSF: Short Story. My Semi-F My Finalist #1


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