Monday, March 28, 2011

O' about editing

I have heard stories of people who send their writing to an editor and then refuse to make the changes they advised. To me, this makes no sense. To rewrite, edit, change, and cut much of your novel will help you become a better writer. Completing these requests, by their agents or publishing house, has helped many become published.
An agent or publishing house will not consider your book without having it edited first. If you're one of those who believes that your manuscript is perfect the way it is, all I can say to you is; may the force be with you. I have been editing mine for eight months now. Since I'm not an editor, although I have had some editorial assistance, I'm taking it one piece at a time. Is this too long to take? I don't think it is I still have many months of editing ahead. This is my first novel, and I want it to be tight. I'm not in a rush, nor will I allow my first work to get rejected, or come out looking unprofessional, if I decide to self publishing, which I'm still undecided, simply because I would not take the time to edit my work.

I can't force you to do the same nor can I tell you, you're wrong. Everyone has the right to do as they believe, and look as foolish as they'd like. Self publishing is largely unaccepted, mainly because of very bad writing, and unprofessional looking books some people have put forward. This could have been avoided with the assistance of an editor. If you can't afford one, then you have your work cut out for you. Should you stop because you can't afford one? That has not deterred me one bit. I study, read more, do continuous research, but I will not relent. If you've decided to become a writer, it's no easy task to take upon yourself. However, it is emotionally rewarding.

Keep in mind that it does not matter if you intend to seek traditional publishing or self publish, editing, and rewriting are essential to your success. You cannot take editing lightly or do without it. In fact, if you're planning on SP you will need more editing. I believe. Since you don't have a professional editor looking at your book, you have to find a way of making sure your work is ready for publication. My recommendation is to hire a professional to look it over. This is not cheap, but when self publishing, that is one of the main issues to worry about. You may be thinking of querying an agent believing they will edit your work for you. Not so. They will simply reject it without explanation. I know it's not fair.

Please check out some of my grammar notes to assist you, if needed. However, it's not just grammar, its plot development, characters, voice, back story, beginning and ending, conflict building, action scenes, love scenes, realistic dialog, antagonist, protagonist, avoiding clich├ęs, word count, title… and the list goes on. An essay could be written for each one of these points. No easy task to take on. I'm I attempting to deter you from writing, or sway you into traditional publishing as apposed to self publishing or vice versa? No, I'm only providing you with information you will need to accomplish your task. I you want to write, do it right.


  1. So, so true. Right now I'm doing my first revisions/edits trying to get it as clean as I can but I know it won't be the only pass I make on this MS. It's a little like Steven King in his On Writing where he talks about a first reader. I'm getting it ready for my first reader. Then I'm sure I'll be ripping it apart, LOL

  2. As not only a multi-published author who--even after doing fastidious self-editing and painstaking rewrites of my manusctipts--would NEVER send off my book to the publisher without first employing a professional editor to do the final edits, AND ... being a professional editor myself -

    I say "Here, here!" to this post!

    Marvin D Wilson

  3. I can't afford a private editor but have betas and crit partners. We have to be willing to edit our work! That's lesson number one. Great post.

  4. @The Old Silly, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

    @Laura Pauling, betas are great ideas I will have to look more into that. Critique partners are a wonderful idea which I recommend to everyone. Thanks for sharing.