I've talked about Julie before. I'll talk about her again. And I'll keep talking about her until writers who should be seeking professional editing services for their books actually do it. Readers are paying for these stories!! Now I'll let her tell you why it's so damn important . . .
To Edit, Or Not To Edit?
Good writers, like all good artists, allow themselves to be vulnerable. They bare their work like an open soul and present it to an audience for judgment. They’re paradoxically both fearless and startlingly exposed. My advice is to write with abandon, emotion and honesty. Self-edit. Then, pass it on to an editor, detach your work from your ego, and brace yourself for a reality check.
The editor’s No. 1 job is to serve as the reader’s advocate. Editors can love the writer, but they have to love the reader more. They’re the first detached audience members – test monkeys of sorts. Good editors perform surgery. They spot the tumors – benign or malignant – and artfully remove them with sharp steely knives, leaving no scars. They body-scan the work and help identify skeletal weaknesses, as well as opportunities for cosmetic improvement. Good editors approach the work from both strategic and tactical vantage points. On the strategic side, they look at the whole body. Where is the bone, nerve, muscle and fat? Is the organization sound? The conflict and characters believable? Are there bloopers? The tactical side involves line edits and proofing. Does the text disrupt the reader’s flow through wordiness, ambiguity, redundancy or shoddy punctuation? Is the author inadvertently pissing off the reader for reasons that have nothing to do with the story?
Here are five points to think about as you write. They won’t replace an editor, but they can result in a cleaner, more confident manuscript: