Sunday, November 21, 2021

Writers Need Editors

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

It may surprise you to hear this statement: No writer creates a perfect first draft. Each of us have to get the stories and information out of our head and on to paper (or computer). Some of my writer friends will talk their writing into the computer then edit from that draft. They use a program like Naturally Speaking. Even when you use such a tool, your first draft will need additional work.
While I've been writing for publication for decades, I still need an editor.  In the writing process, I try and write enough ahead that I can let it cool for a few hours (or days) then I read through my writing and edit it. Each of us need to self-edit. Another process is to read your work aloud to yourself and edit it as you go through it. The ear is less forgiving than the eye and this process will help improve your work.
Yet s writers we can only take our writing to a certain level on our own. We need editors. A good editor will ask probing questions and force you to clarify areas that don't make sense or are incomplete. A good editor will push you to do more showing in your writing than telling. The editor can also react to the structure of your piece and push you to have a stronger conclusion. These various elements are just a few of the skills an editor will bring to your writing and publishing process.
There are numerous freelance editors who perform help many writers in this process. If you don't have such an editor, ask other writers and get some recommendations. Then check out that editor's references and even have them edit a portion of your book (often they will do this process without charge) to see if their work will be a good fir for what you need and are looking for with your work.
Another resource some writer use for the editing process is their participation in a critique group. In the early days of my publishing work, I was active in a critique group and it was a great help to propel my writing. If you don't have a critique group (in person or online), I recommend you read this detailed article that I wrote about critique groups (follow the link).
Do you believe every writer needs an editor? What tips do you have for finding a good one? Let me know in the comments below. 

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