How to Treat Your Wattpad Editor
I just wanted to talk about this for a brief moment, because I have done several editing projects in the past and I have had some great and some awful experiences with the people I've worked with. So I just wanted to list a few things to keep in mind when you have an editor on Wattpad who is working for free in their own spare time.
1 - Don't bombard them with millions of messages.
-If it's been a week and you haven't heard from them, a kind reminder is fine. But harassing them with messages every single day and expecting them to be finished super quick is too much. It's understandable if you changed your mind about some detail and wanted to shoot a quick note, but one time I literally got ten messages where the person changed her mind about several different things over and over. Try to make up your mind about how you want to communicate (Wattpad or email), which story, what editing style, etc. before sending dozens of messages. If you have to send a few messages, don't sweat it, but just keep in mind it can be overhwhelming to open up Wattpad to a dozen messages. :)
2 - Remember they have a life too.
-They're doing this for free. They're taking time out of their spare time for you and you may need to cut them some slack. I know personally that sometimes I simply don't have time in a week for an editing project because I'm working 25+ hours and have finals in my college classes that same week as well as soccer practice and it bothers me that some people think I have all the time in the world for them. I would love to work on your story, but I'm running on about 4 hours of sleep so a nap might be in my better interest. So please, give your editor a little time. They have a life outside of editing.
That being said, I usually won't take on an editing project if I know I won't have any time. Or, if the writer really wants my help, I will at least give them warning. So if your editor made you a promise with a deadline, and they don't meet that, then that's on them. As editors, we have to be efficient and keep our promises, but we will also have unexpected events pop up. Patience is appreciated! :)
3 - If you're asking them for help, take their advice seriously.
-I repeat, they're doing this for free in their spare time. The least you can do is respect what they say. It doesn't mean you have to take every note they say and change every bit of your story, but at least consider their suggestions and if you're not sure whether the changes are the best for your story, ask other people their opinion on the subject. It feels pretty awful to try and help and just get blown off.
4 - Don't take them for granted.
-Editors don't really appreciate hearing stuff like: "I hired another editor instead but you can still work on it if you want!" or "Thanks for editing the past ten chapters, but I found someone else who has more time so I'm not going to use the changes you made!" (You could have at least told them before they put all that time into your story) or "If you aren't able to edit it soon I may look into hiring another editor..."
-99.9% of the time, your current editor will be perfectly okay with you taking on another editor instead of them, if it means they get a break. Especially if you're basically telling them you don't even need/want them. They really don't lose anything if you go to another editor, since they're doing it for free after all.
5 - If you don't like their editing style, respectfully tell them. Don't feel obligated, but don't be rude.
- Sometimes these things just don't work out, and it's not the fault of either party.
-A polite message like: "Thank you so much for your time and work, and you've really helped me improve my story. I appreciate all your advice tremendously. I just feel like our writing styles aren't collaborating well and that maybe it would be in our best interest to bring a close to this editing deal. No hard feelings, I just need to focus on developing my own individual style a little more. Thank you so much again!"
^^Something to that effect which is respectful and polite and can make your editor still feel appreciated and helpful would be a good approach.
6 - If you make a deal with them, follow through.
- Even if you don't take their advice, they put time into offering you some. So if you promised to follow them if they helped you, don't say: "Oh, well I ended up not using the advice you gave, so I see no reason to follow you.:)" They put their time into your story, and you should follow through with your half of the deal.
7 - Credit can be nice.
-Unless they specifically ask to remain anonymous, your editor usually wouldn't mind a shout-out. Or at least a brief mention in a chapter or on your bio. I was working with someone once, and I spent hours fixing tons of mistakes in their first couple chapters, and in turn they gave me an acknowledgement on the first chapter (Which was super nice). Then one day, while I was working on the later chapters, she lets me know that she's "cancelling the editing" and that I don't need to continue. I go to the first chapter of her book and see that she's saved all my editing changes but taken away the acknowledgement that I had edited at all. It was a kinda rude thing to do to an editor who had spent a lot of time on editing, and I felt like she had taken advantage of my services and taken for granted that I would be okay with "cancelling it" at any given time. I think I was better off not working on her project, but it still felt abit abrupt and uncalled for.
8 - Give them a heads-up.
-If for some unknown reason you have to leave the website or stop the editing, at least give them notice. One last thanks and an apology if they were in the middle of editing would be nice. I had someone, while I was in the middle of editing several chapters of theirs for several months, just delete their account with no warning. Not even an explanation email. Normally, it's not my business what they do, but just two days before they had asked me to edit a couple more chapters, which I put time into and then they just left with no notice. It was slightly frustrating.
Anyway, this doesn't have anything to do with improving your writing directly. However, it can improve your writing indirectly if you're nice to the editor working on your project. ;) I always find I'm a lot more willing to work on people's projects if they've been kind to me in our messaging and communication. And, of course, it should just go as a natural rule that you should be kind to everyone on here, editor or not. These are just a few things you may not have considered if you've never been a Wattpad editor before.
Have a great day! :)
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