By: Ruth Harris
As a former editor, I’m biased but, as a writer, I’ve learned that for me (and for just about every writer I know), editing is the most productive and transformative part of writing a book. Whether you hire a pro, rely on a crit partner, or DIY with or without input from beta readers, editing can take longer than writing and can turn an OMG-did-I-write-that? draft into a book you can be proud of.
More on the downside later, but to begin on the bright side: If you are a beginning writer your editors are your teachers and mentors and will rescue you from the sh*tty first draft. If you’re an experienced writer, your editor can be the invaluable second pair of eyes.
9 ways your editor can help.
- Editing is your opportunity to figure out what you really mean to say and how best to say it.
- Editing will save you from yourself and your worst tendencies.
- Editing gives you the chance to come up with the killer line of dialogue, the mot juste, the cliffhanger that keeps the pages turning.
- Editing is the stage at which you cut the bloat or expand and amplify when you’ve gone too bare bones.
- Editing can shore up a blah plot, identify, fill and fix plot holes, and turn wooden characters into living, breathing, believable people.
- Editing gives you a chance to pick up the pace when the story lags and slow it down when you need to give the reader a chance to breathe.
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