Editors as Artists: Using the Red Pen to Create a MasterpieceJanet Fix
Oh, the many times we’ve heard writers worrying themselves over the editing process. They’re not sure if it’s good enough. They’re not sure if it’s grammatically accurate, even though a good friend, who is an English teacher, proofread it. They’re not sure everything coordinates. They’re protective of their work and don’t want to change its essence. Their friends read it and think it’s awesome. Do they really need a professional editor?
And this is before they’ve even arrived at the editor’s door, if they ever do.
This is what we say to authors: You’re a writer, not an editor. Two separate professions. Two separate mindsets.
The cool thing about it all is this: you, the writer, have created the book. Your editor—hopefully someone you connect with on more than a professional level, i.e., you actually have a bit of fun working with this person—will ensure your work’s stability, agility, and quality. Teamwork stuff.
The editor is like a sculptor, shaving off the dead pieces so the beauty of the story comes out with full force. This cannot be done by the writer in most cases—because the writer’s brain has done all the hard work, creating the basis for something grander. It’s tired and can no longer see the fine points that need to be tended to in order to make the book the masterpiece it should be.
There is no replacement for a good editor. Period. Not friends, family, or people somewhere on the outskirts.
Always put your best foot forward, whether you are self-publishing, submitting to an agent, or submitting directly to a traditional or hybrid press. A professional editor can get you there.
Choose an editor you actually trust. How to find one? Ask questions, more questions, reach out to the writer community for referrals, feel how the answers affect you. You will know when it’s right. And, yes, there are different types of edits. Editorial analyses, content edits, line edits, final proofreads. Editors charge for various phases, or for a combined package, if it suits your situation. Every book must go through all these phases to some degree to achieve the MASTERPIECE goal.
Learn more about our editing services HERE as well as more information about our publishing approach. Let us help you reach those stars … including those multiple-star reviews!