Seeking Editor for Manuscript (work from home)
I wrote a manuscript that I would like to send out to agents, but can’t afford an editor. The manuscript is less than 105K words and is YA contemporary fantasy. I’m sorry I can’t pay, but it would be another addition to a resume.
It’s ideal for creative writing, English, or journalism majors; also great if you are an avid reader and a grammar fanatic. I’m looking, not only for help with writing, but also critiques on the story.
If interested, I’ll send you a chapter to get a sense of your editing style and choose from there.
Let’s see, this person is looking for someone to not only critique the story (which counts a developmental editing), but a “grammar fanatic” to line edit it as well. For a manuscript that tops out at about 105,000 words.
So how much in free services is this writer begging for? Bryon Quertermous, a writer who I just learned is available or editing services, asks $600 for developmental editing of up to 90K. For line editing, he charges $0.006 a word, so for our clueless writer, he would charge $630.
So Clueless Writer wants someone else to, in essence, invest, more than $1,230 in a manuscript he won’t put five cents toward.
Of course, he throws in that it would be a great addition to a resume.
It may seem like a lost cause, but if anyone out there thinks this is a good way to score free editing services, let me assure you that it is not. Good editing is not just a function of knowing the parts of speech and how to use spellcheck.
It means knowing how stories work and how they don’t, and how to express why a story breaks down.
It means not only knowing the rules of grammar, or at least enough to get by, but being able to explain to Clueless Writer why his sentence structure needs to be reworked, if only so CW can correct his own mistakes the next time.
It means spending 40, 60, 80 hours going over a manuscript several times. It takes several passes to clean up a manuscript. Developmental editing and line editing use different muscles. You can read for sense or read for spelling and grammar, but you can’t do both at the same time.
If you want to get a sense of how well you write, join a writers group. A good critique group will look at a couple of pages and give you great advice about your strengths and weaknesses. Befriend another writer and exchange chapters. Write a short story and send it out to editors. One of them might take the trouble to give you feedback.
But trolling for free work on Craigslist is like trolling for free relationships in the “casual encounters” column. It’s skeevy and it shows that you’re willing to exploit others without giving back.
In other words, you’ll get exactly what you deserve.