Edit or idiot

My fifth step in writing is editing.  Yes, I know it is debatable whether or not I do this. Not the point.  These are the points –

  1.  To Self Edit or Not.
    • I always try to find others to edit me.  By the time I get here my mind is starting to imagine all the corrections.  I won’t see common errors. Frustrations from the process step in making it impossible for me to see clearly problems with plot, character and what not.
  2. To PAY for editing or not.
    • I have done both. With Snowball I paid for an English professor to edit the first draft.  That was painful, for both of us. Then I had a dear, dear friend edit the several subsequent versions for content and errors, and another (she went through for a polishing look for me).  Those friends were unpaid, but boy if I ever become famous I will be telling everyone and their brother, sister, third cousin as well as next door neighbors (with their permission) who they were.  (I also gave them credit in my book.)
    • In paying, it is definitely worth it for the right editor. One thing of concern is picking the right one.  You want someone in the genre, with experience.  Definitely one area where buyer beware and educate yourself on their past work and who you are dealing with.  READ THE CONTRACT.  What are services are they bringing to the table?  Always ask questions and make sure you both understand what one wants and the other can deliver.
    • This is one of those cases of doing both.  If you have friends/family that are willing to read through and give you marks for improvement and correction for minimal or no expense – won’t hurt and could cut back on the expense of a good editor who won’t be boggled down by common errors easily corrected.  They will be able to give you far better evaluation.
  3.  What to do with that information.
    • Do nothing.
      • yes, there are some writers who will ignore all commentary and editing and forge ahead.  Who really is to say who is right or wrong? (I would say the readers and market for the genre and writing style)
    • Do everything the editor says without question
      • Sure, if you are confident and in sync with the editor in vision and purpose, why not?
      • or . . .
    • Evaluate and consider the editor’s advise and direction as well as corrections
      1. THE BEST THING TO DO!  Always. Step back and think about what was said, why did they make those comments. Will it improve the story you are trying to tell. For my first book it clarified my vision of the  story I wanted to tell.

That is plenty to consider and think about on the subject of editing.  My opinion is this is an important step, as important as the concept and writing. This can make or break a great story.  It deserves time, thought, and follow through.





2 thoughts on “Edit or idiot

  1. Right now… I self edit. I am really REALLY hard on myself and have a tendency to correct, edit, tweak, and rewrite 14 times before I publish anything even to my blog (another reason I haven’t posted anything lately). I practically have an anxiety attack if/when I notice a mistake after I publish. Thank God I know how to go in and correct something after I have! I haven’t the courage to let anyone ELSE edit my writing except for teachers and even then, it isn’t an English class as of late. And I forget they look for content much more than whether or not there is the correct punctuation or a run on sentence (my personal pet peeve). I also find the more time I have to write something, the worse I am! Case in point… my year end project for a class this semester. It was due today, but I had it written last Wed. Although I turned it in, then tweaked it again, sent it again and THEN I turned in a third hard copy today! OMG! Fortunately my teacher sooooooooo knows me after 4 semesters! LOL!
    Great advice though…… I shall revisit this when/if I am ever officially publishable! 🙂


    1. “officially publishable”, um, who do you think determines that? I am not sure I understand the anxiety. I remember being somewhere in that neighborhood, but after research and reading, my location/perspective has changed. How you want pursue any skill or craft is unique. It is all what you make it to be, a lot like life. Relax and enjoy, don’t make it harder than it is.


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