Self Published 103 - Editing, Editing, Editing

March 14, 2019

 

Editing. 

 

The bane of every author's existence. 

 

I can hear their screams in the night, shouting "I don't wanna". I certainly don't! Editing is the worst part of writing and the best at the same time. 

 

So let's say it together. 

 

You will get through this. It is making your book better. Don't take things so personally. 

 

That's your new mantra. 

 

But I will advise, make sure you get a lot of alcohol to get you through this, or whatever vice you have because the editing process is going to be painful and it's going to suck. There's no getting around that. It's going to eat at your insides and you're going to want to rip out your hair cause there will ALWAYS be another book burning in your head trying to distract you. 

 

Deep breath with me now. We'll get through this together. 

 

The secret? Do as much as you can DURING the writing process, and save yourself the headache later. 

My secret weapon 

 

It's an app, and it'll blow your mind.

 

 Okay so this app is wonderful and will save you a TON of time, namely in the sense that it will highlight your issues. Mine? I use a ton of adverbs and somehow I always end up picking one word that I way overuse in my books. The Raven's Ballad was full of "but"s (hardehar). Anyways, it has all sorts of tools you can use. 

 

Here's a quick rundown of an unedited copy of a recent Novella. 

 

 The first thing you'll notice is that you get a rating right off the bat. This is the generalization, and don't feel bad if you've got red. I'm in the read most of the time, and that's TOTALLY OKAY. This is your time to edit and fix that stuff. 

 

The top tools I use are the following.

 

 Summary you just saw! 

 

Style is your adverbs, your passive voice, and repeat sentence starts. 

 

Grammar is rather self explanatory. Something to note is that this app isn't always right! Grammar is a rather subjective thing, so make sure you use your common sense and don't just... accept everything haha. 

 

Overused words! Ah this is my favorite since that's my crutch. No more thousand "but"s in a smaller piece of work. 

 

Readability is whether your sentences are easy to read or not. 

 

Cliches are terms that are used a little too often in stories. An example is "The devil is in the details" or "Survival of the fittest". A thousand people have used these terms, it's time to create something new. 

 

Sticky is what they call "sticky sentences", which is basically a sentence that is too long or a sentence that would be difficult for a reader. 

 

The next thing to talk about is editors. 

 

Should you get an editor? Yes. of course. No question. Please don't ever publish a story without an editor. 

 

This was the first mistake I ever made as an author. I had family and friends edit the book (The Goblin Bride if anyone is curious), and made sure they did a good job. But none of us were actually English majors and we certainly hadn't edited books before. 

 

So you know what happened? 

 

I published two books with "The character speaking." She said. 

 

SO WRONG. SO SO WRONG. 

 

And no, you can't find the Goblin series anywhere. Someday I will rerelease it with new editing, but for now, you cannot find it anywhere my loves. 

 

Anyways, I digress. 

 

 With the influx of indie authors also came the influx from indie editors. You have to be aware of who you're using as an editor, and you cannot, under any circumstances, just assume someone knows what they're doing. 

 

Your book is your baby. This is the thing that will make you money, and it will set the brand for your entire authoring career. 

 

Let me make this perfectly clear. 

 

Vet your editors. Ask what books they've edited for before. Read them with a careful eye. Are there grammar and spelling mistakes? Is the story flowing the way it should? 

 

Not all of these mistakes are the editors fault. No author HAS to take the editors suggestions, but I can tell you a good editor makes or breaks a book. 

 

There are two types of editors out there. 

 

Developmental editing and line editing. 

 

For your first couple books? You want both. Developmental editing is going to help you find your voice. It'll guide your story in the direction the plot should go and will generally make the story and entirely better feel. 

 

Do not. 

 

Again. 

 

DO NOT go with an editor who only line edits when it's your first couple books OR if you feel there's something missing in the story. 

 

Developmental edits are the most important part of creating something that sticks with people. You can't assume that because it's your story that means people understand what you're trying to say. This world lives in your head, it makes sense to you because what else could possibly happen? Everything you've written is clear in your mind. 

 

It's not clear in everyone else's mind. So get a developmental editor, have them help you create a masterpiece, and don't rush to put it out there unless you are prepared for the fall out. 

 

Trust me on this.

 

Finding editors is hard work! The number one thing I've found which proves an editors worth is that they work with a couple authors exclusively. I work with mine for almost all of my books now because she is so damned good and I know for a fact that her quality is remarkable. I question some of what Corinne says, but most of it? 

 

I don't even think. I just agree with her because, as much as it pains me to say it sometimes, she knows her shit and she will my story significantly stronger if I just listen to her. 

 

Even though sometimes I'm bad at that part. :P 

 

So go out there and find an editor! Just make sure it's one you trust.

 

 

 

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