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Friday, October 26, 2012

Editing is a Must!

The lack of editing by traditional publishing houses has annoyed me for many years. With the addition of e-publishing et al to our choices, I believe even more strongly that eliminating copy editors as part of their idea to downsize was a bad idea for the publishing houses. They have the opportunity to outsmart those who have taken independent publishing to new heights and are doing it poorly. No, I don't think all self-published material is poorly written; however, in my experience, I have found the well written and well edited self-published material to be in the minority. Nothing jerks me out of a story like a mispelled word (see what I mean) or a jumbled sentence. By the time I'm reduced to reading a sentence aloud to try and decipher what the author was trying to say, the whole paragraph is lost to me. I've read far too many books with great bones, but they are missing the muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc. to hold them together. (My nursing background springs into focus from time to time.)  

Many of you have heard me wax eloquent at workshops, critique groups, and over a cuppa about the importance of self editing and professional editing. I firmly believe we do our readers an injustice when we don't take the time to make our work the very best it can possibly be. We need to remind ourselves every day that readers are our bread and butter; readers are a well educated lot who know junk when they read it; readers want to be caught up in the story and taken for the ride of their lives.

This week I read posts from two of my favorite blogs that support my theory. Don't we all love to read things that support what we believe?

Rachelle Gardner is one of an excellent group of agents who post on "Books & Such" and this blog post spoke to me: Why It’s More Important Than Ever to Master Your Craft. Gardner writes that readers may not be able to put what they don't like into writerese (lack of tension, poor characterizations, plot arc missing) but they certainly know when to toss a book aside or not recommend it to others. And dear to my heart, she points out that punctuation does count and it's up to us as authors to decide whether we want our books to be doorstops or proudly displayed. The link to the site for Books & Such Literary Agency is www.booksandsuch.biz.

Right behind Gardner's blog came one from Joanna Penn at The Creative Penn, another favorite site of mine. Writing A Novel: “You Mean, I Need to Edit?” Of course, you see why I liked it. Penn reminds us that the editing of our manuscripts can be the deciding factor in its success. Her guest blogger, Nick Thacker (who always has good things to say), shares some valuable tips to ramp up our manuscripts.The link to the site for The Creative Penn is www.creativepenn.com.

Bandaids aren't enough.




A quote from Michael Crichton says it all.

“I think every writer should have tattooed backwards on his forehead, like ambulance on ambulances, the words ‘everybody needs an editor." Michael Crichton

Mahala







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