This will become one of the most important positions on your team.
A good editor will make you look good and challenge you at the same time. I’ve been lucky to work with Bill Nichols through the studio and Sketch Magazine as well as Bill Love. There’s more than checking for periods and making sure your punctuation is correct. Believe me, once I turn these blogs over to them they’ll be asking me what is my goal and how do I expect to achieve them.
Unfortunately they can’t give me more time in a day.
You want to discuss the project with them so as you go along they help to keep you on track, reminding and questioning your progress and recalling ideas and whither they are still valid to the story.
An example is the current novel I’m working on CAMELOT FOREVER: PENDRAGON’S RETURN. Wrapping up the first quarter of the book my co-author Bill Nichols and I wanted to get another perspective so we went ahead and gave our editor what we had finished.
To preface the example, the story takes place in two time periods, medieval and modern, having discussed what we wanted to do and how the story would develop along in future stories with our editor. He suggested we rethink the opening chapter.
We had originally started the story in the past setting up the history and characters that would play a major part of the story. Our editor suggested we open with a scene set in the modern times since the bulk of the story develops and moves along there. Once we wrote the new opening chapter, I believe it made the story stronger and definitely helped establish the story in a modern times.
I want to take a step back and discuss the spelling and punctuation part. I was once on a deadline with Sketch Magazine and made some last minute text changes to the cover of that issue. Not having the convenience of the internet and needing to get the files to print asap, I sent the issue off to print.
I had misspelled vehicles in large print. I had no clue until we receive our comp issues and by then the bulk of the magazine had already been sent to be distributed. Later I fixed it on the digital and POD issues but I may never live it down. I believe it was one of the higher-ups at Dark Horse who asked how we spelled vehicles in Kentucky. Not my brightest moment.
So the unsung editors are truly the heroes of print medium and a much-needed position in your studio, solo or large.