One of the things we were asked in editing today was, Should editing be a collaborative process or not?
Collaborative editing allows the work to be edited by a group of people simultaneously, then having a feedback and discussion session with the writer on points they have picked up. This is the point of the group I belong to.
Editing my stuff -
I like to get different peoples viewpoints on my work. My editing group tells me what they feel works and what doesn't. It’s sometimes hard to listen to people pulling my words apart, but it is better in the long run to know something isn't working than to carry on regardless and waste months writing a novel no one will want to read because the tone is wrong, or there are mistakes with continuity. Never mind the grammar!
Editors need to have good attention to detail, and be able to spot mistakes in the story. A number of people reading that story are able to pick up far more that the individual writer. I have found with my own writing that I am often too close to the story to notice many stand out errors. Even with my editor’s ‘hat’ on, there are still things I miss.
Whilst the others are reading the story it is uncomfortable but I have grown to trust their judgements, and they have picked up some humongous mistakes that I've made.
And editing isn't just about the mistakes that I've made, editors also pick up on the good things that I've written, and they are very encouraging and supportive.
There is a danger that the group of editors can become complacent with my work
Editing other peoples stuff –
I used to find editing other peoples work quite difficult, especially if it was a piece that I didn't like, but I now realise how useful it is to the writer, and I really don’t mind any more. What I try to look for are the positives as well as the ways the work can be improved. When the author addresses the criticism I find that I get a lot out of it, I have gained a better understanding of the way people think, and the way they view things.
After all I am writing to be read, and so are the rest.