Author Topic: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)  (Read 13090 times)

hillwalker3000

  • Guest
Re: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)
« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2017, 05:14:59 AM »
^^ Hear hear. I think your pal has got a hell of a nerve and you should maybe tell him so. It's a hard lesson but he probably did you a favour. Be selective in who you share your work with - and if there's money involved do your research.

H3K

Offline lamont cranston

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 198
Re: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)
« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2017, 06:19:55 PM »
beautifully said, thanks

Lin

  • Guest
Re: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)
« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2017, 05:20:27 PM »
A real editor should never rewrite part of your story for you. This is your story, not theirs.  You should have track changes in the margins and if you asked for a report, they should give one for the whole book, chapter by chapter if necessary, but comment on the various aspects of the writing.  eg. Grammar, show/tell, timelines, spelling, punctuation, and anything they feel will be helpful to you.  The text should be left alone or suggestions made in the track changes. The report should be a separate document from the manuscript. The final edit should be reported for errors in the track changes, then it's up to you to get on with the final edits and correct them.  

I would sack this guy!

Lin  ;)




Offline lamont cranston

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 198
Re: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)
« Reply #48 on: February 18, 2017, 05:22:42 PM »
track changes?

Jo Bannister

  • Guest
Re: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)
« Reply #49 on: February 19, 2017, 04:11:58 AM »
That's how we work too.  Track changes marks questionable words, paragraphs, whatever in the main body of the text and provides a secondary box running parallel to it in which the query and the thinking behind it can be explained.  You can then accept or reject the changes proposed, inserting your own explanation into the parallel box and marking your update in a different colour in the main text.

It's actually easier than it sounds!  The big advantage is that nothing disappears - you can literally track the changes and revert to your original if you choose to.

hillwalker3000

  • Guest
Re: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)
« Reply #50 on: February 19, 2017, 06:34:42 AM »
track changes?

It's what most writers use when critiquing, redrafting, etc.

If you use Microsoft Word, the editor/beta reader can click on the Review tab at the top of the document window before making any suggestions/corrections/deletions. These 'comments' appear in a side bar - numbered from the first proposal to the last. But the main body of your text remains unchanged - and you are at liberty to accept or reject any proposed changes.

H3K

Offline lamont cranston

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 198
Re: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)
« Reply #51 on: February 19, 2017, 11:03:47 AM »
Okay, I see how that works.  I worked in business all my life and never saw anyone use that feature before.

The way this editor marked up the document, the original text is gone, and is replaced with his wording.  On the left margin, is a red vertical bar, showing where he changed from the original.  The whole document is almost all red bar, LOL.

On the right is a little 'bubble'  (like for dialog in cartoons) that you must click on, and then you can see his  comments - sometimes the comment is a question, and sometimes it's a comment as to why he likes his change better.

He did make a comment that he would be proud to present it as his own work, and since he's so deeply emotionally involved in the work, he can do a really great job at making the right changes.

I reviewed ALL the changes to the first 7 pages (didn't get the first 20 on Wednesday, just the first seven).

I reviewed with a beta reader and a person who has been helping me with editing.

No one liked ANY of the changes recommended.

Same criticism: "It's just not the story you're telling", and "sounds like a lousy daytime movie".

My friend (beta reader) with background in academia doesn't like the repeated 'John said' and 'Mary said'.  I explained that I started out the way he likes, but changed it because the writer's advice writers say people skip pages and all the dialog needs to be identified so anyone can land on any page and know who's talking, and that  words like 'said' are supposed to 'disappear' and not be a problem or seem repetitive, but he's adamant.  He insists that needs to be changed.

I'm not sure what to do about that.  Most of the things people say in the story are very brief.  So that the dialog may consist of several comments, but all are brief.  

I think what I am going to do is look at longer stretches of dialog and see if I can improve them without 'unidentifying' people too much.  

Since the main character has a mild mental disability, I try to keep most of the story in tune with his abilities.  He wouldn't say, 'she queried' or 'she mused' or anything like that.  Actually was rather difficult for me as I tend to use more complex sentence structure and wording myself.  But I felt it was important to not remove the narrator too far from...inside his head.

Not entirely sure what to do about that.  Both points of view seem valid.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 11:19:05 AM by lamont cranston »

hillwalker3000

  • Guest
Re: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)
« Reply #52 on: February 19, 2017, 12:58:41 PM »
My friend (beta reader) with background in academia doesn't like the repeated 'John said' and 'Mary said'.  I explained that I started out the way he likes, but changed it because the writer's advice writers say people skip pages and all the dialog needs to be identified so anyone can land on any page and know who's talking, and that  words like 'said' are supposed to 'disappear' and not be a problem or seem repetitive, but he's adamant.  He insists that needs to be changed.

I'm not sure who's giving you this advice but it's not strictly right. If your dialogue only involves two people it's going to be easy to keep track of who said what as long as you occasionally identify the speaker (by an action tag or a he said/she said). If people 'land on any page' and can't tell who said what, that's their problem not yours. If there's 3 or 4 that still doesn't mean every line of speech needs a speech tag. If you don't believe me, pick up any novel that includes dialogue.

H3K

Offline lamont cranston

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 198
Re: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)
« Reply #53 on: February 19, 2017, 01:47:37 PM »
That makes a lot more sense to me.  Thanks!

Offline Gyppo

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 72244
  • I've been writing ever since I realised I could.
Re: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)
« Reply #54 on: February 19, 2017, 02:16:53 PM »
On the 'he said'/'she said' issue...

There is something to be said for both using and not using these tags. It is vital that the reader knows who is speaking.  But as long as your characters have distinct individual voices you won't need a tag on each line.  However, this doesn't mean that one has to speak with a broad rural accent and the other as if they've orally engulfed a dictionary ;-)  That works, but it soon starts to feel a bit contrived.

If your beta readers are saying they lose track during long stretches of dialogue then something needs to be done.  I'll make a suggestion about this in a minute.  But, before you start making wholesale changes, or driving yourself mad trying to double guess your readers in advance, bear this in mind.

There are a great many people out there, especially those who have never written anything more literary than a shopping list, who have been brainwashed into thinking the average reader - meaning anyone less clever than their own self perception - has the attention span of a dead goldfish and the IQ of a rock.  Therefore we are told to make sure these supposedly disinterested people can understand what we are writing.  God forbid we make it difficult for them.

If they're that butterfly brained, that stupid, then they're not going to buy books anyway.  I happen to believe the average reader is a damned sight smarter than many 'experts' give them credit for.   If not we'd all be watching silent videos - surely the ultimate in 'show don't tell' - and occasionally grunting at each other.

Yes, we need to use language appropriate to our target reader, but we're not writing for morons are we?  Some famous writers write simplified stories for 'reluctant readers', and they turn out to be damned good books without being at all condescending.  They just lack the frills that most of us take for granted.

Back to the chase.  Action tags can do a wonderful job of breaking up long conversations.  No conversation happens in a vacuum.  Imagine your two characters are talking during a car journey.  There can be brief references to the traffic, the view outside the car, even the weather.  They just serve as an extra hook to keep the reader on track.

"Are we ever going to get there?" Frances looked at the tailback, three lanes, jammed solid.

You can use raised eyebrows, fingers drumming on the wheel, windows being wound up or down, air-con controls being fiddled with, stuff like that.  People move restlessly in their seats, they're not waxworks dummies.  

"Have a drink."  John passed over a still sealed bottle of water.  "It's lost the chill but it's still wet."

Action tags are almost invisible, but as the name suggests, they also add a little bit of movement to the dialogue.  Which is always a good thing as it helps to avoid 'talking head syndrome' and dialogue being used solely as exposition.  They also avoid the bland he said/she said repetition.  Maybe look on them as seasoning, not too much and not too little.  Like Goldilocks and the porridge.

Ian Rankin and Lee Child both make good use of action tags, but you'll have to be looking for them to realise what they're doing.

Gyppo

PS:  But please don't ever use the word ejaculated as an action tag to intensify a single word reply.  (It just carries too much unintended baggage.  It was fine back in the days when intercourse could also just mean conversation, or getting to know people.  But those days have gone.)

"Never!" John ejaculated.

Gyppo


 

 
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline lamont cranston

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 198
Re: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)
« Reply #55 on: February 19, 2017, 02:26:18 PM »
LOL, so true, thanks!

Offline lamont cranston

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 198
Re: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)
« Reply #56 on: February 19, 2017, 07:14:51 PM »
I wrote to the person and told him I did not want him doing any further work on the project.

HE replied that he knew it wouldn't work out because of my response to his initial comments on his first suggestions.  

What I am wondering, is if he REALLY believed that from the start, WHY DID HE SEEK ADDITIONAL WORK ON IT AND WHY DID HE PROPOSE HE EDIT THE ENTIRE BOOK?  It's a LOOOOONG book!

To his credit, he didn't want to be paid.  He said it was just an 'exploratory discussion'.  My guess is that he thinks if he doesn't push me to pay him, I won't complain to anyone about him.

Here's an example.  This is one of his initial recommendations after reading the synopsis and first 20 pages:

The main character should have Stockholm Syndrome.

I said I wasn't interested in making that change, and he said, okay, but then make clear why he hasn't got Stockholm Syndrome.

I didn't feel that was necessary, because Stockholm Syndrome simply is not anywhere near universal or assumed in such situations.  In fact, in comparison, the hostage situation that started the term 'Stockholm Syndrome' has often been contrasted to a similar situation (bank hostages) in which the hostages held the assailant up to a window to HELP the police shoot him some more!  

It's almost a guarantee that Stockholm Syndrome will NOT occur if there is any physical violence against the hostages.  And according to several psychiatrists I discussed the matter with, Stockholm Syndrome is actually rather rare!  It is by no means a given when hostages or kidnappings or 'unlawful detainment' occurs.

The main character has a mental disability and was abused and exploited by a couple (this is not modeled on a specific crime, but such crimes are very common and there have been some particularly brutal and horrific crimes like this against people with mental disabilities).  Since only one of the couple was beating him, editor felt the MC should be sympathetic toward the person not beating him.  

That person was 'kind' to him (threw a piece of leftover pizza on the floor in his room every few days, that was all he got to eat...he was basically getting starved to death to force him to surrender the deed to his house).

But in fact, I made it very clear very early on that he despised both of them, including the more passive person.  He stated clearly that he had already decided that if he ever got out of there, he would hate her the most.  She didn't show him any kindness.  She was complicit, she sat there and watched while he got beat up, she reinforced the rules the chief abuser laid down when the chief abuser was out of the house.  The chief abuser told the MC that she was his 'eyes and ears' and he better not try anything while he was out of the house, or his partner would tell him about it and he'd be punished.  

This parallels the rage that many abused adult children feel toward the passive parent.  Many times, people are MORE angry at the passive parent who is complicit in the abuse.

There was no good place to add it early on, but I did find a spot to add, later in the story, some explanation from the MC's doctor as to why the MC was not sympathetic to the more passive person in the crime.  Just a brief sardonic comment, really.

He also wanted me to add more 'suspense' to a scene in which the abuser attacks the MC.  

I had conceived of this scene as being very similar to something I experienced...waiting alone in a room, and knowing I'd be attacked but not exactly when, then being attacked violently and quickly.  To me this was like a whirlwind.  The suspense was all in the room when the MC was by himself.  He could sense something was coming, just not exactly when to the moment.

Well, editor wanted me to expand out the fight scene, presumably to add suspense, and have the MC NEARLY fall over a lamp,  step over it, the attacker hit the LAMP with a belt, the attacker gets a pock marked face and an evil grin, and a lot of other things that I was just like...wow...this just looks like a cheap daytime movie.

In the story as it is, the attacker was high, he was fed up with the MC, he wanted to move on, and he was a brutal, vicious person anyway.  He just screamed at him, jerked him around by the arm and lit into him.  Threw him through a window, and then ran outside to stomp on him some more.

Later, it is found out that the attacker didn't just exploit the MC, either.  Like many of these people in real life, he victimized many people.

And later in the story (this was in the story before I sent it to the editor), the female who was complicit in the abuse, finds the MC and tries to murder him, later claiming to the police that her partner 'threatened' her with harm if she didn't.  She also claims she was merely trying to 'scare' them but the police point out that she shot a gun at a chair she believed to be occupied by the MC or someone trying to help him.

I have some experience with such people.  They attack directly, swiftly and terribly.  He's not going to pussyfoot around.

And I can certainly make their nature clearer.  But I believe that the changes recommended aren't good for the story.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 07:39:33 PM by lamont cranston »

Lin

  • Guest
Re: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)
« Reply #57 on: February 22, 2017, 12:50:54 PM »
I do mentoring for new writers.  If you would like a good example of what an editor does you can send me your first couple of pages, and I would be happy to show you how the track changes work and help to send you on your way.  If you want further information send me a PM there is no charge for helping to sort you out.  I only charge for chapters and full ms. I am not an editor, but I can show you what is expected of you. All this is confidential.

Good luck

Lin


Offline lamont cranston

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 198
Re: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)
« Reply #58 on: February 22, 2017, 07:08:21 PM »
thanks that is so kind!  I did get someone else who showed me how to work with the track changes and at this point, I'm doing some changes (as noted above) and looking for a publisher.

Lin

  • Guest
Re: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)
« Reply #59 on: February 23, 2017, 06:34:29 AM »
I'm happy to give you feedback before you send it.  Two heads are better than one.

Lin