Since I started blogging I have posted posts highlighting other authors and artists, but I’ve never hosted an editor before. It is therefore with much pleasure that I introduced my good friend Frosty.
Thank you so much Nephy for doing this interview. J I’ve never actually seen an editor’s interview anywhere. That you would do this means a great deal. All hail the Queen of the Storytellers!
- When I’m writing, my inner editor chatters constantly in my ear, telling me where I should/shouldn’t put my commas etc. I believe the editor is on drugs, however, because she has the strangest ideas about commas. Sometimes she’s selfish and holds them all to herself, and other times she throws them around like seeds in a cornfield. She also has an uneasy relationship with colons.
What really is the deal with commas? Clearly there are commas that affect the sense of the sentence, and change its meaning, but if the comma doesn’t actually affect the meaning of the sentence does it really matter whether it’s in the right place or not?
Wow, you certainly know how to bring on the big guns straight away!
Well, to be perfectly honest, commas are very subjective, more often than not. (And by subjective, I mean to the readers). As a writer, you know your thought process, and how and when you stop to take a breath and break your chain of thoughts in a particularly long sentence. However, the readers do not have that luxury. More often than not, we’ll stop at the wrong point and that tends to change the meaning of the whole context in which that scenario was probably used. (Did that make sense?)
Personally, I’ve been known to throw about commas liberally. But, then again, it’s finally up to the author to choose to keep them where suggested; because like it or not, it’s ultimately their story to tell and if they think that a comma in a certain place is off-putting or unnecessary, they can get rid of it just as easily.
- How important do you think it is that authors should know the detailed rules of grammar, and that works of fiction should adhere strictly to them?
Personally, I think basic rules of grammar are a must whilst trying to write in any language. English is tricky as there are quite a few flexible and fluid rules, you know. As for the detailed rules of grammar, I don’t particularly think that knowledge is very essential when you’ve got a completing tale to put forward. That’s what the editors are for. So long as the authors are willing to listen to why an editor suggested an alteration/correction, there shouldn’t be big hitches in the story that would end up highlighting the lack of detailed rules.
Fiction, as we know, is fact + imagination. Therefore a lot of leeway can be allowed to such authors in my opinion. However, whilst I’m all for loosening the reins on the grammatical point of view, I would never condone it to such a degree so that it becomes a language all on its own. Because, let’s face it: authors write to reach out to people, the more people that can connect to a tale the better. And that sometimes requires a certain flow and yes, rules are a part of it.
- What do you see is the key role of the editor?
An editor in my opinion should look for missing details, inconsistencies, and overall shape of the story whether they make sense to an outsider.
Because in my experience, when an author writes a story, they have a certain idea about how the story goes or how a character thinks and why they’ve done something in particular, or seemed a certain way. However, as someone without that insight might often find themselves floundering for clues that the author might have missed putting in the story. (That’s just an example btw)
- How far should an editor go in helping an author shape a story? For example, if an editor disagrees with something the author has written how far should they go in persuading the author to change it?
I am of the belief that if a certain thing does not make sense to me, I point it out, and if the author has questions, I should be able to answer exactly why I made such changes and how it could be made better. But, editors do have to remember that it’s finally the author’s story to tell. And whatever suggestions I made is just my opinion, and the author could choose to implement or discard them as they fit.
As for persuading the author, of course an editor would do so. Especially if to them it doesn’t make complete sense even after the author has had their say. In that case, I personally would suggest an opinion of a third person, rather than trying to mould a story to an editor’s idea since they’re not the creators of the narrative in the first place.
- What’s the most common error you’ve found authors making?
Head-hopping. That’s the one very common error I’ve found authors making. Especially if there are more than one strong characters in the story and there’s a powerful scene with them involved. (This is where the ‘showing not telling’ bit comes into play, mostly)
- Do you ever get so wrapped up in a story you forget to edit it then have to go back and do it again?
Oh my God, yes! Given that I still categorise myself a reader first and editor second, I’ve had that happen to me quite a few times. Some authors are simply that good!
- Tell us a bit about Frosty, the editor.
Hah! I take that back about the first question. This is the most difficult question you’ve asked me to answer. I’m a reader, a homemaker, a complete slob, a math nerd, a sci-fi geek, an avid gamer and a study in contrasts. Lol. I’m lack focus and patience but I’m a hooker (the crochet type 😉 ), and a miniature model painter; tell me how that doesn’t need both of the above. My tagline all throughout my life has been ‘If you follow all the rules, you miss all the fun’ and here I am, editing – making people adhere to the rules of English language. Lol. I could go on and on. But, methinks you get the general idea.
- Tell us where we can find you, and what you have to offer.
I provide services in editing, beta reading, proof-reading, and I’m a decent sounding board. I can definitely help with one or all of the above. I have a very flexible approach and can provide customised editorial services that suit one’s timeline and budget.
So, where do we find our Frosty and access her services?