My year of editing full time was a blast! An absolute joy. Every day.
From January through December 2021, I edited:
- short stories (under 15k) = 6
- collection of shorts = 1
- novellas (15k=45k) = 4
- novels (50k+) = 13
This list represents more than 1.3 million words.
I also helped writers one-on-one with brainstorming and evaluating manuscripts, and hosted a writers workshop for 32 live hours (kind of like a college class, there’s usually 2-3 hours behind the scenes prep work I did for each, too).
Lots of romance, plotlines, but the settings and genres that accompanied those were widely varied. I edited three fantasy novels set in Scotland, the Canadian Maritimes, northern California, middle America, New York City, London, Australia, and a road trip story that crossed the American southwest.
I had the pleasure of meeting fantastical witches, fae, and werewolves, the Sins, the Virtues, the Archangels and the Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse. I met librarians, construction workers, office workers and CEOs, itinerants and homeless, who struggled through every obstacle toward happiness and love.
Most of the settings were contemporary, but I also edited several fantasies that had history-like settings, one historical, and two novels that had 31st century space travel and 4th century Roman soldiers.
Most of the stories had sex that ran the spectrum from implied, closed-door, fade-to-black, to explicit erotica. There were also a number of poly and BDSM scenes. The main characters were mostly cisgender, though I had two trans and one non-binary character to make sure I checked pronouns and antecedents carefully. The sex scenes only occasionally had misplaced body parts. Same-sex scenes are still a pain with pronouns, but repairing point of view issues that so often crept in fixed most of those.
Nuts and Bolts
Point of view and commas (along with sentence variety) remain the two biggest issues, so I should probably focus my advice on these in the workshops and articles I pen in 2022.
Most of the stories were written in third-person close point of view and rotated between main characters fairly evenly. I had a few first-person dual POVs. Both techniques still slipped with inserting the feelings or thoughts of a non-POV character.
Comma errors most often came in long sentences mixing tenses and too many ideas, so I’ll focus my articles on untangling long prose. Sentence diagramming may make an appearance.
But seriously, I wouldn’t be an editor if these things actually annoyed me. I love being able to help. Returning clients so often say they’ve learned something – and their later manuscripts show it. Yes, I’ve had the “I heard your voice” or “I remembered your advice” comments. Squee.
2021 has been an incredible ride and I am looking forward to more in 2022. Thank you to all my clients for a wonderful year.