Saturday, January 2, 2010

But that's what editors are for!

First off, I want to thank everyone for their great responses to yesterday's blog. You all had some wonderful & very insightful things to say. Thanks! :)

Today, I am going to discuss one of the worst things for a writer: editing! (Insert scary music here)

I know, I know. We're writers. Editors are...well, editors! They love to hack up our work and change our words, right?

WRONG! The editor is a fresh set of eyes. They are the new person reading your work & making it really shine. Editors are our friends, fellow scribes! :)

Plus, if you really want to stick it to them, edit your work yourself!

When I wrote my first book, I edited it umpteen million times. Why? I wanted it to be strong and to be well received by publishers. Like all of us, I went through quite a few rejections. I doubted my abilities as a writer, but I pressed on and was eventually published. My publisher was impressed by the fact that the book needed almost no editing. Saved her time and money, and I came out looking like a damn good writer!

If you are seeking publication, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to either edit your work or pay someone to edit it for you. Professional editors rake in over $10,000 per piece they edit. So, unless you're crapping out money, edit your work yourself.

Editing actually gives you the opportunity to improve your writing and linguistic skills. Remember that this is your work, so take pride in it and really edit it until it is perfect.

My publisher gave me a great tip which I implement & am passing along to you today. Once you're done with a piece, set it down for a while. Each of us works on a different schedule, but I have found that you need at least one week minimum before you get back to your story. Why? You need a break. You need to stop reading the same words repeatedly. You need to NOT think about your characters. Read a book, watch TV, or just do something to take a mental break before you get back to it. By giving yourself that break, you actually come back to your piece with a new set of eyes and it really helps your ability to edit and enhance your work! Trust me, I've done it & it works out tremendously well for me! :)

Yes, editing is boring and monotonous. We all hate it. It is the bane of the writer's existance, but it must be done. By editing your work yourself, you become a better writer (and you'll find that as you progress, your works need less editing! How cool is that?!)

Put aside your hatred for the editing, fellow story tellers, and allow the editing process to help you grow and become better at your art!

1 comment:

Chelle Cordero said...

I was given a suggestion for self-editing that I find works very well.

As you said, give yourself a break from the words so your eyes are "fresh". Then edit the book out of sequence.

You as a writer know what you intended to say so instead of reading it the way you wrote it, read it backwards, every third chapter or whatever it takes to make you really look.