Editing is another part of writing and self-publishing that’s full of pitfalls.
I’m sure you heard some of this:
Every book must be edited
And that’s true. It’s unlikely to get through writing a story without making some mistakes. But look closely: It doesn’t say who does the editing.
You can’t edit your own story.
There is a grain of truth in it, but there are tricks to get around even that. Of course, you can edit your own story. You can find typos, errors and even plot holes. All it takes is some effort and a little mental tweak to step back from the story a little.
Only an editor can save your book from being crap.
Total BS. This is just a marketing ploy. Many editors have lost their position with publishing houses and now need to find clients on the market. And some find clients by scaring them into needing validation.
So here is what I think:
Editors can be awesome and very helpful.
Editors can be terrible and kill your book.
And no matter what, editors will cost you money.
Here’s what I do: I edit the hell out of my stories before they even go to beta-readers. I usually do three passes, and the final one is reading the whole thing out loud to myself. (Note: I do NOT rewrite.)
Then it goes to a handful of trusted beta-readers, who are typo hawks and do not hesitate to tell me about things they didn’t like. I decide whether to change those things or not. I do another read-out-loud pass.
Then I format it and do another check.
(I skipped that part recently, and I need to fix that… sigh… personal experience.)
And then I publish it.
You see, editing has its place. And if you can afford an editor and have found one who actually enhances your voice and your stories – awesome. Keep him or her.
But you can do quite well alone if you train yourself to do it. There are some good resources out there to teach you editing, too. (Self-editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King is one.) At the very least, by doing some serious editing yourself, you’ll save your editor time, and possibly yourself some money.
Once again, this is mostly a mindset thing:
Do you believe you can create a story that’s polished and typo-free on your own?
Or do you believe you need someone else to make it really good and acceptable to the world? Do you need validation from an editor?
Think about it.
And then tap.
Even though I’ve been taught that every book must pass through the hands of an editor or be complete crap, I am okay the way I am, and I now choose to learn how to polish a story myself.
Even though I’ve always believed that it’s impossible to make a story good on my own, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to become an expert for spelling and grammar and polish my books myself.
Even though it feels good to rely on an editor to catch all my blunders and fix my book, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to learn everything I need to make my book shine on my own!
How do you feel about editing?
What emotions come up when you think about not having an editor?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.
Image Source: F. Moebius
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