The Consulting Writer

aka The Frazzled Mom

Writer’s Series: A little nip here, a tuck there: The Art of Editing

After writing my story, my friend and I proofread it. Then I asked others to proofread it as well. It looked to be in good shape and ready to go. But I was wrong. There were still issues with grammar, spelling and even minor details in the story line that each of us missed. Why? Possibly because:

1) we were too close to the project and
2) we were looking for only specific things (say only spelling errors, not grammatical errors or story consistency only)

We spent days, weeks, months going over and over it. She reviewed it at her home, I at mine. Then we would meet and go over our notes and discuss. We spent over a year editing, discussing and editing more. And yet, it still wasn’t enough.

What have I discovered?

Independent authors!!! We are held to a much higher standard than that of a well known author published by one of the big six (Hachette, Georg von Holtzbrinkc Publishing/Macmillan, Penguin, HarperCollins, Random House, Simon & Schuster). One misspelled word and you’ll find it noted in the review of your book. I disagree with these types of reviews. As a reader, I’m looking for the review of the story, not the grammar.

After realizing there were still mistakes to be corrected, I had to unpublish my novel. I wanted a high quality product for the public and felt I hadn’t gotten there yet. But the question is: when is enough, well, enough? There are always going to be mistakes found.

The thing about a first novel is similar to first impressions. You really need to get it right, as much as humanly possible, the first time. And this is where my naivety as a new author did more harm than good for me. I published too soon and really should have let the story sit for another half to full year. In the end, there is no substitute for a professional editor (who can be held to a higher standard, as your book will be). In the Writer Series, I will include guest posts from authors and their experience with editors.

Boy Meets Girl by Banksy

Boy Meets Girl by Banksy

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4 comments on “Writer’s Series: A little nip here, a tuck there: The Art of Editing

  1. BookCupid
    January 18, 2014

    I know what you mean. I have edited and revised my manuscript thirty times and still feel the pressure to do it again. Sometimes we need to learn to let go. Following you on Linky.

    Like

    • admin
      January 20, 2014

      Thanks for following. I hope the writer’s series will be helpful!

      Like

  2. Angela
    January 19, 2014

    Very informative. I am in the process of what I like to think are my final edits on a book I’m hoping to publish myself around March. But I am so paranoid about missing that one or two typo errors that can totally take it from being a respectable published piece of work to something I have to yank off the publishing market and scratch. Like you I have looked over again and again. I’ve had a friend of mine that’s a former copy editor go over it. Following you with facebook. I would love to see what insight you can give me on the self publishing market.

    Like

    • admin
      January 20, 2014

      Thank you for following. I hope you find the writer’s series helpful. Good luck with your novel!

      Like

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This entry was posted on January 15, 2014 by in Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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