How to Choose the Right Editor

Pixabay imageBack in the day, before the idea of writing ever entered my thoughts, the mention of an editor brought one name to mind: Perry White. I was first introduced to the editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet in comic books. Yes, I read comic books (I had brothers). Oh, the excitement of opening a new comic book!

Breathe, Betty, get back to the subject.

Where was I? Oh, yes, editors, and how to choose one. If the company name is Dewey, Cheatham & Howe, don’t go there.  April Fool’s! 😉

This may surprise you, but editors are not the enemy. In fact, their business is to make our writing the best it can be.

Helpful Hint #1: If you have a fear of editors, pass your writing through a good critique loop or group first. Work on your manuscript until it is as clean as you and your team can get it, then look into hiring an editor.

I happen to love working with a good editor. They make my prose look professional. A good editor will save me from embarrassing myself. I have a gift for using the wrong word and don’t even ask me about commas. We seldom get along. It doesn’t matter where I put one, it gets removed.

Pixabay imageEditors sometimes get a bad rap. Why? Writers can be peevish about their “babies.” When I’ve finished writing my story, it is (of course) purr-fect. Then it goes to the editor. I wait. And wait. And then, I worry. Anxiety. Angst. Surely, it’s been too long. My manuscript must be terrible! ←Yes, that is an exclamation mark, and yes, I’m shouting at this point. 😊

Pixabay imageThen it appears—as if by magic—the email with the galley attached. My tummy tightens. I click on it with great trepidation. Will the document be flooded with red marks and comment balloons? Big, overblown comment balloons full of writing and questions and … heaven forbid, “What were you thinking?”

After a fit of crying, I go back to the document and one-by-one, tackle the changes and suggestions. And I soon realize they are all good and often thoughtful. There may be one or two that are misunderstandings, but those are also helpful.

Helpful Hint #2: An editor’s “misunderstanding” means I need to clarify what I’m trying to say, so the reader doesn’t get confused.

So, the editor has done extensive work. But she has not cleaned up my manuscript for me, she’s left suggestions that I can take or leave. I do the cleanup. And, as the author, I have the right to argue my point. A good editor will listen and give her opinion. The publisher will have the final say.


One excellent way to find a good editor: Pray, first and foremost. This person can be invaluable. If a writer believes their work is important, then they will invest in a good editor. Those who are working with a publishing house will likely be given an editor (as I am). In any case, pave the way with ample prayer. I pray for my editor as they tackle my work, and then I prayerfully consider their changes.

A second way: Pop back by during the month of April to see what our writers have prepared for our readers.

The writers of Inspired Prompt have been assigned a task: to help you find a good editor.  What do you look for? How much can you expect to pay? What type of editor do you need? We will also interview an editor.

By the end of the month, it is our hope that our readers will be better equipped for their writing journey. As always, send us any questions in the comment section of our blog posts. We’re happy to help.


Writing Prompt Challenge – Your editor highlights this paragraph: Emily cried her eyes out when she received the letter. She felt as though her heart would burst. How would you fix it? Comment with your answer. Remember: show, don’t tell. Best answer wins a $5 Starbucks card!

Click to Tweet: Editors are not the enemy…their business is to make our writing the best it can be. #amwriting #writerslife #editor

3 Questions Wednesday With You!

jhallmarkbtoWe hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Next up, New Year’s Eve, and then–a brand, new year. We are so excited about our plans for the blog in 2017.

Yes, it’s almost here, and we’ve been talking about YOU! We want to help you even more than we have in the past. One of the ways we can help you is through online presence and publicity.

Th Writing Prompts blog has lots of Wednesday interviews to fill! That’s good for all of you writers and authors. Why?

  • Visibility
  • Free publicity
  • Expanded reach
  • Book releases
  • Books & WIPs on virtual display
  • Advertise with buy links
  • New readers via book giveaways
  • Readers getting to know you
  • Makes it easy for potential readers to find and connect with you

Would any of these marketing strategies help you? Well, we offer these for a very low price. Absolutely FREE. All you have to do is contact us through a comment below, or use our contact tab [Click Here]. Let us know you’re interested in participating in 3 Questions Wednesday.

A few facts about 3 Questions Wednesday interviews:

The questions change every year. There are only three, so it’s quick and easy. We’ll need the following: publicity photo, short bio, book cover, book blurb, buy links, and links to you (your social media, author page, etc.).

Click here for a preview of next year’s 3 Questions

Here are a few of our past 3 Questions Wednesday participants–

Your picture could be here next year! Contact us today. Spaces fill quickly.

And let’s not forget our readers! If you’re not a published writer, you are a reader. Many of our authors give away free books. All you have to do is leave a comment on their 3 Questions Wednesday post to be entered in the giveaway. It’s that easy. And the authors respond to your comments. We encourage you to ask questions about their work. This is your opportunity to get to know them even better. Then follow them on their author page, and check out their other books, or works-in-progress.


The Writing Prompts Crew would like to take this opportunity to thank all our participants in 3 Questions Wednesday interviews during 2016. Whether you’re an author or a reader, you helped make this a stellar year.

Thank you!

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The Art of Cooking

by Betty Owens

cook, cooking“…no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.” ― Julia Child, My Life in France

Want to try something fun? Open Pinterest, put the words, “Grandma’s Recipes” in the search bar and hit enter. Not only is it fun to read the recipes, but the stories that go with them. Oh, the memories—yum, the goodies!

And I had the pleasure of finding a winner. The best turkey dressing recipe of my memory was not my grandmother’s, or my mom’s (sorry Mom), but belonged to a woman named Mildred Totten, who was the lead cook at a retirement home. I worked there for several years while in my teens. We saved leftover bread, biscuits, and cornmeal muffins for a couple of weeks ahead (stored them in the cooler).

The morning of the Thanksgiving meal, we gathered in the kitchen and tore all that bread into bits. Ms. Mildred melted butter in a huge skillet and added chopped veggies then mixed it all together. She used an ice cream scoop and placed mounds of dressing into well-greased institutional-sized muffin tins. Then she baked them in the oven. They smelled wonderful and came out like a muffin, moist in the center, slightly crunchy on the edges. Placed next to warm, sliced turkey, and topped with turkey gravy, they were scrumptious and disappeared as fast as she could bake them.

retro-1321078_1280Serving up a delicious meal is truly an art! Yes, this month’s topic, “The Art of Cooking,” is a timely one, don’t you think? Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. Many of our authors will also share a recipe. The one I found that inspired my special cooking memory is found HERE. My clan actually prefers a plain bread stuffing (not corn meal) and I usually rely on the bagged croutons that are already seasoned. But this year, I might try this recipe and see if anyone notices. Shhh! Don’t tell on me.

The true art to cooking is making and serving something that inspires memories (good and bad). Maybe your favorite remembered meal inspires laughter in your home. Yes, I have some of those, too. I’ve also messed up recipes that turned out to be a family favorite. That’s how some of our greatest inventors happened upon life-changing inventions. It all started with a mistake and voila! You have a masterpiece.

dinner-table-1433494_1280And don’t forget the presentation. I’m not great at that, but one particular anniversary, I nailed it. No, not literally. I “created” beef bourguignon (bur-gen-yon). Technically, it’s a beef stew with layer upon layer of flavor. I served it on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes with a side of crusty French bread. Our best china, tablecloth and candlelight, a floral centerpiece. I went all out. But the food stole the show—a true winner. It was labor intensive, and a little on the expensive side, but worth every penny.

I hope you’ll check back in from time to time and see what’s cooking at the Writing Prompts blog. And don’t forget, our holiday giveaway is in full-swing. You can win a gift card, free books, and whatever else we can find to give. It’s the holiday season! Leave a comment on any of our Monday and Friday posts for a chance to win, throughout the month of November. Complete our writing prompt for a double entry. For all the details about the giveaway, click this link: Once Upon a Christmas.

What’s your all-time favorite food memory? Have you created a winning recipe?

Writing Prompt: Your best friend Millie has invited her husband’s new boss and his wife to dinner. She calls you the morning of the dinner, panicky. “I can’t do this. Can you help me? I don’t know what to cook!” How will you come to the rescue and save Millie’s dinner?

An Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake Recipe

15 oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
12 oz. can evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 box spice cake mix
1 cup butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (floured spray works well).
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar and cinnamon until well-combined.
  4. It will seem a little thin, but this is perfect.
  5. Pour the mixture into the baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle dry spice cake mix on top of pumpkin mixture.
  7. Drizzle melted butter over the top.
  8. Bake for 55-60 minutes. (The middle may still jiggle a little, but it’s done–don’t over bake–it’ll be too dry). It will continue to set up as it cools.
  9. Cool for 30 minutes or longer before slicing and serving.
  10. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream & a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Can also be served with ice cream.

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Natural Wonders in the Pumpkin Patch

by Betty Owens

Okay, I know it’s a stretch, but this is October 31st, after all. Here at the Writing Prompts blog, we’ve been talking natural wonders all month. We’ve shared our research and shown you some really nice pictures. fruit-189262_1280

So I thought, since it’s Halloween or All Hallows Eve for some, harvest festival for others, and just October 31st, for the rest of you, I’d talk about pumpkins. Really big pumpkins. Unusual pumpkins. That’s where the wonder comes in.

A new world record was set recently in Rhode Island with a 2,261.5-pound whopper. They call it the Godzilla of gourds. This information came from The Washington Post, in an article written by Ben Guarino.

But that’s still not the biggest pumpkin. The world record was set in Ludwigsberg, Germany. That super-pumpkin weighed in at 2,623 lbs. That information comes from article at International Business Times, article written by Alexandra Suarez.

pumpkin-17662_1280What does one do with a pumpkin the size of an elephant?

⇐⇐Possibly…

Or, maybe bake the world’s largest pumpkin pie? On September 25, 2010, New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers did just that. The pie was twenty feet in diameter, and weighed 3,699 lbs. That’s a whole lot a dough. Yes, it took 440 sheets of dough. But they used canned pumpkin. That pie made it into the Guinness Book of Records, by the way. Information from Newsweek.comarticle by Polly Mosendz.800px-Pumpkin_Pie

So what does happen to the gigantic gourds? I’ve heard they’re not really edible. Too fibrous. They save the seeds, though. It’s been suggested that they blow them up–just for fun. Hmm…

Well, at least they have pictures. Oh, and dough–the green kind–their winnings on the largest pumpkin. 🙂

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

I hope you enjoyed our month of Natural Wonders. And I hope you know this last article was Just For Fun! Drop back by during the month of November for our topic, The Art of Cooking.

pumpkinsWriting Prompt: Millicent spent an entire month sleeping in the pumpkin patch, guarding her entry for the largest pumpkin at the state fair. But when the day finally arrives, something unexpected happens…

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