The Challenge to Editors

The Challenge to Editors

We challenged professional editors to perform a story edit on a completed manuscript and be comprehensive, objective, and motivate the writer. They were asked to provide:

  •  A summary letter
  •  Comments on the 38 Fictionary Story Elements
  •  Per scene notes
  •  In-line comments & track changes

Before working on the novel, some of the editors were already story editors while others were making the jump from copyediting to story editing. We asked the editors not to focus on copyediting - although some couldn't resist.

Intent of Course

This course gives you a view of how editors work. The course is designed to show editors what they should deliver as a story editor or to show writers what they should expect from a story editor.

This is not a course on how to use StoryCoach software or to teach you how to become a story editor.

The Editors' Starting Point

Each editor edited a manuscript called Evolution and was given the following information.

  • Manuscript Title: Evolution (79,000 words)
  • Point of View: First-person
  • Genre: Murder mystery

Evolution's Blurb

After her husband and dog die, Jazz Cooper, a woman with a debilitating fear of crowds, discovers she has a special connection with dogs and draws further away from human interaction.
But when she discovers her husband was murdered, she must fight her need to hide and use her new-found skill with dogs to search for the killer, only to learn the new ability might get her killed.

A Few Things to Note

  • The edits were performed as part of the Fictionary Certified StoryCoach Training program.
  • Each editor worked separately without seeing what the others were doing.
  • After completing the Fictionary Certified StoryCoach Training, some passed, received their certification, and are now Fictionary Certified Story Coaches.
  • The editors all gave their permission for their work to be shown anonymously.
  • We haven't included work from all editors to ensure the information isn't repetitive.

In this section, you'll learn:

  1. What story editing is.
  2. What makes an exceptional editor.
  3. The difference between plot, structure, and story.
  4. Why scene-by-scene editing works.