Saturday 23 June 2012

The Importance of Editing

Writing your novel is the fun part. It’s exciting to allow your imagination free reign to take you wherever it wants.  It’s fascinating to watch your characters become people with hopes and fears and you become part of their lives as the plot thickens and their world Is created, growing and unfolding with every page. 

When you finish you will be pleased with what you have achieved and the story you've created and you'll want to share it with everyone.  

Stop!  Before you start sharing your creation and sending it out to publishers or agents, you must first edit it.  Poor spelling, grammar, punctuation, structure and layout can be the difference between someone seeing your book through your eyes or not seeing it at all.    


You can pay a professional to edit your work.  However, this costs money.  Personally, I wouldn’t be able to warrant paying for an editor without editing the work myself.  
  • You will pay for the editors time so I’d suggest getting your work to as high a standard as you can on your own first before sending it to an editor to work on. 
  • Research your editor the same as you would a publisher and agent.  Make sure that they are familiar with your genre and the market that you want to submit to. 
  • Recommendation is also good if it’s from a source you can trust.  Also remember that different people like different things and it is a working relationship.
I've never used an editor as I can’t afford one. 

Self Editing

I hate editing.  It uses a different part of my mind that’s logical and full of processes instead of fun and creative and plot driven.  You should read and re-read your novel and edit and re-edit your novel until you are sick of reading it and can’t find anything else wrong with it.  Each time you go through it take a break of a month before going through it again and a again.


Once you’ve edited it a few times and it’s in a suitable format to send to friends, fellow writers and family for feedback then give this a go.  It is very encouraging to here “This is great!” but you also need some readers who will point out your pit falls.  Listen to what they have to say but remember it is your novel so if you don’t want to make the changes you don’t have to.  Try and find readers who are for your target market as these will be more beneficial.  

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