Why it is essential to work with a book editor?

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ReneChambers
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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:07 pm
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Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:45 pm Post

Being good at writing and being able to flawlessly edit books are two different things. It is not necessary for a writer to be proficient in the notion of editing. Both of these professions are correlated but there are still several differences between the two. I can write with ease but I find myself in a hurdle when I have to edit my own content. That is why I always prefer to opt affordable book editing services and allow professional editors to proofread content and make corrections, as they deem necessary. My experience of working with editors has been a great one. Feel free to share your opinions under this thread.
Last edited by AmberV on Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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denegroth
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Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:37 pm Post

Whenever anyone says something is essential for me to do, I don't do it and see if the world explodes. Sometimes it does! What's fabulous for me is I'm an editor. I can edit my own work, however, there's a big HOWEVER to this.

HOWEVER (comma) I had to do something first. I had to discipline myself. (Sadists may not see this as a problem.) The thing is to keep oneself on track. If you are proofreading for punctuation, then you must keep yourself from straying into content, or you'll stop doing the one and find yourself rewriting instead of editing. Knowing the difference between the two helps. I organize revisions in steps and keep to the regime.

The pitfall: (There's always a pitfall.) Reading your own book cover to cover half-a-dozen times can be very annoying. You might find yourself sick of reading it. Getting someone else to do this for you could be worth whatever you have to pay. For me, keeping the number down to four is the goal. I find I can stomach four read-throughs, and I organize how I get a story into text with this in mind. No, I do not recommend it as a method. It's just something I do. Working as a journalist and editor for a number of years may have given me either skills or the attitude required to pull it off. I can't say for sure.

1. Bare bones run through of the story. Get all the significant events down so it runs smoothly front to back.

2. Run through to embellish, or to add texture - to elaborate as needed or to enhance or sharpen.

3. Spelling, right/wrong word, syntax, grammar (find the dangling participles, find the split infinitives.

4. Punctuation. Punctuation. Punctuation.

I figure pulling it into something substantial will then give me a better object to revise. I can then write/rewrite or leave well enough alone. This reading, with notes and alterations, creates another book based on the one I just edited. I'll then run through it for grammar/spellcheck.

THEN, someone else needs to read it. I prefer another writer, or a reader of some experience. I'll take what I think is valid from that opinion, incorporate it with one more comb through then it's good to go.

Leave well enough alone. That's important. Being able to tell if what you wrote says what you were trying to say is key. Editors don't know what you're trying to say. If you're not there collaborating with the editor during the process, the editor is left guessing. The reader tells you what the book said. That will tell you better if you said what you intended.

Neither an editor nor a reader can tell you about style. They can't tell you about structure in terms of the creative process. As far as I'm concerned all an editor can do is apply rules of the language the writer should already know, or the writer doesn't possess the skills required for the avocation. I'm not in need of paying someone for remedial assistance.

Having a fine arts background, even having a second opinion steps on the individual creativity aspect of creating art. However, that may be where I differ from a lot of writers. I'm not writing things to sell to create income - a vocation. I'm creating art using the language as a medium. Too many hands in that pie, and whose work is it anyway? Painters don't have people edit their paintings - sculptors their sculptures. If I need another technician to massage my work, I'm in the wrong field.

And, I'm entitled to my opinion just like everyone else. Those who don't agree - differ.
Nothing so cuts at the root of happiness and fills with rage
as the sense that another rates low what one prizes high.
-Virginia Woolf-