Several dozen folks showed up to get a glimpse of real-life editors at last week’s Ventura County Writers Club meeting and were treated to two hours of information, tips, and anecdotes about real-life editing.
Shelly Lowenkopf, former executive editor for several publishing houses, described the route a manuscript might take when it is submitted to a traditional publisher and how editors would be involved in that process. Monica Faulkner, an editor and publishing consultant for more than 20 years, explained how she coaches clients to write and rewrite and revise so that a promising story can mature into a publishable manuscript. Greg Elliot, a longtime editor, screenwriter, and writing professor, provided practical tips to help writers self-edit. And I offered up “The Top 10 Ways to Make Your Editor Love You.”
We then answered questions from the audience for almost an hour on topics ranging from how to use Track Changes in Microsoft Word to the use of dialogue in fiction to the benefits of self-publishing. Audio of the entire two-hour meeting is available here from the Writers Club website, if you’re interested.
It was my first time to participate in this type of panel discussion about editing, and—except for worries about whether I was using the microphone correctly—I enjoyed it very much. It’s always fun to get to share information about a my chosen profession, especially when so many people seem so mystified by what I actually do.