In the Chapter 1 it was decided that changes to tense and person would require too many changes for the copy editor, which is less likely to result in a story that is in a condition ready to publish for the author. In other words, the scope of the project is beyond a copy editor’s remit. However, I’ve continued working on further chapters of the story, without changes to tense and person, to show which changes could have been suggested.
Where the author is concerned at this stage, using this story as an example, the options are:
- For the author to seek a developmental edit or critique service where paragraph-level intervention for rewriting and restructuring could help keep the tense and person consistent and in line with the author’s expectations, or to seek help with writing groups and guides.
- For the editor to continue working on the story in the assumption that most of it is thereafter written in third person past tense and work can continue if the author has changed their mind about keeping the majority of the story in first person present tense.
Understandably, the editor will be wondering at this stage how long the story is, which sections are in what tense and person and why this is the case.
If there is a lack of certainty about how much of the story is in one tense and person it is advisable for the author to check this before the editor accepts whether they can continue to work on the story, and if the author is still not sure and the editor accepts to work on the story then it may be good to be clear to the author that if more work is to be done than anticipated from the brief then the fee may have to be renegotiated.
Nevertheless, if as many changes have to be carried out as were in the first chapter to get it from original to final, it’s not likely the editor would continue to work on the story with the time consuming number of changes, less chance of the story being ready to publish afterwards, and the possibility that as much work required in the first chapter would be required in the remainder.