If I wasn’t convinced before that Beta Readers are the new black, then the notes from the editor of Eternal Press for Future Girls clinched the deal.
This is what my editor said after reviewing the manuscript for Future Girls:
“Congratulations on a wonderful novel! In general the writing was excellent and I felt fortunate to work with a writer who knows her craft. I quite enjoyed editing it and I hope that you find my suggestions useful.
“There are suggestions which I make that you can ignore.
“There are things in which my hands are tied, and these are items are from the EP Style Guide.
“”Said” and “asked” are the best (dialogue) tags because they are invisible. He declared, she announced, etc. all draw attention to themselves. I’ve pointed out a few of them, and when not necessary crossed them out. If you prefer to keep them you can, keeping in mind that the tags involving body functions is (completely forbidden per the) style guide and quite written in stone.
“Adverbs. I don’t believe them to be a good friend to writers. Only a few are useful. I’ve also pointed out where I feel the writing can be stronger by avoiding them. Likewise some words like “suddenly” or “automatically” just bog down the story. I’ve crossed out a few and hope you will understand why I do so.”
These were just a few notes and I’ll post the rest next week. The point of this is that I spent only a few hours reviewing the whole manuscript, not because I’m lazy and hate copy editing ( I am lazy and hate copy editing) but because with the help of wonderful Beta Readers, I wasn’t wresting with an editor over plot continuity, character development or scene construction. All that was repaired and replaced before the manuscript was sent away.
The real work was finished, and I was fortunate to just polish in the final edits.
And I am grateful!