I need to vent, so here goes: I recently utilized the services of a freelance editor. According to her website and our email discussions, she has seven years of experience as an editor for a NY publishing house(s) and has edited sci-fi and fantasy. I sent the ms to her, hoping to learn and incorporate suggestions that would tighten the story and make it publishable. I had previous evaluations of the story from the Gotham's writer workshop, evaluations that I took seriously and made the recommended changes. After letting the story sit longer than I should have, I went back and made a few more revisions. I brillantly decided that I should get another eval and thus embarked on a search for a freelance professional editor. I might as well have shot myself in the foot. Upon reading her evaluation of the manuscript, a sci-fi/fantasy novelette of just under 10K words, I began to have doubts that she ever read any science fiction or fantasy, let alone gave my ms a thorough read. It may explain why she freelances and now lives in Austin, TX, as opposed to NYC and employed with a publishing house *bangs head against wall, repeatedly* Though, I could be wrong. I agreed with a few of her suggestions. Some would say it was worth it. Not at the price I paid. Her evaluation was peppered with inconsistencies and contradictions. The only consistent theme I did see was of her pet peeves about cliches (I use time travel to get my protag into the story, as there is no other way to get a 21st century man to the 19th century); her extreme desire to have every tidbit of character description and detail spoon-fed to her (or to the reader), to include minor and bit characters; her desire for a more spectacular plot twist and her dislike of repeating words, like "her" in sentences that followed. As well as her inference that the reader would be incapable of deducing what was implied, in other words--the reader is ignorant and needs to be explained everything. I'm in the processing of drafting my response and comments, and working very hard at not coming across as belligerent or caustic. Though I do understand that no two editors are going to completley agree on a story, I would think an editor would be aware that a short story will not get into the nitty gritty of character details. Most writers will quickly glean over it, then move on, giving just enough to readers without bogging them with superfulous information. This was covered in the writer's workshop. And most readers will usually skim through a long drawn out character description or just quit reading the story all together. Though this may have something to do with gender, as men tend to want only the headlines and women tend to want all the details, and this is evident in books written by men and women. I tend to see more character details by female authors, than I do from males. Not to say that I haven't seen the opposite of this. This was a pricey lesson learned. It is doubtfull that I will submit a ms to another freelance editor, at least not without a thorough investigation of his/her experiences and knowledge about the genre. I thought I did this with her, but apparently it wasn't enough. Cavet Emptor.