“Armed with a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and the skills of a therapist, professor, and researcher, clinical psychologist Dr. Nancy Berk weaves her traditional training into a unique brand of insight and humor that has made her an audience favorite.”
My good pal/colleague Nancy Berk’s bio doesn’t give her talent and versatility enough credit, in my humble opinion. Writer, standup comic, and intuitive interviewer for her unique podcast, Entertaining Insights, she asked me for some editing tips for the second segment of her latest celeb interview with comedian and new author, Dan Naturman.
- Timing is everything – don’t give me your barely edited first draft; it’s not ready for a professional edit. It will be a waste of your money and our time. Conversely, futzing with a solid, ready-for-the-editor draft is counterproductive. Stop it and hand it over!
- Yes, you do need an outline/structure –Your story needs a structure to hang on. Don’t tell me it interrupts your creative flow! If the work isn’t organized, the overall product will suffer. Just do it.
- Read! – I’m amazed at authors who tell me they don’t read! Really, not even your own genre? That’s nuts. Never underestimate your readership; they’ll call you out when you step outside a familiar formula. And if you only read thrillers and are thinking of writing a memoir? Nope.
- You’ve hired an expert – So use that expertise. If you hired an experienced editor, you’re ahead of the game. I want clients to trust my skill set, but I also view the relationship with an author as a partnership. They’re your words. My job is to polish them and make the best cohesive product we can build together. We won’t always agree, but be selective about pushback…it makes me cranky.
- Stop soliciting feedback from EVERYONE – In the midst of an edit, I want all your attention. Don’t pass your manuscript out to your aunt who took a writing class, a bestie, or your partner. Not at this point; it’s counterproductive. Do that before you hire me.
Now, check out episode 555 of Entertaining Insights.