I am facing a pile of work, now that my allergy-induced hiatus is over. My editor friend, after painstakingly going over Riverbend sentence by sentence, has sent me his edits.
I appreciate his efforts more than he knows.
Now to take his comments, questions, and notes and apply them to the manuscript. This will be my fourth re-write or maybe the sixth or seventh. I've lost count.
Why is editing important, and why is it important to ask a professional to do it? I mean, I have published two books (five if you count the self-published ones), so I ought to know what I'm doing, right?
Wrong. For one thing, a writer doesn't always see her own errors. I look at the edited copy and wonder , "How in the world did I miss that? It's so obvious." But it wasn't to me. My eye skimmed right over the typo or misspelling or whatever.
And the story has been lingering in my mind for so long that I am positive I explained how the heroine got from A to B, or what happened here while this was going on there, or the little detail in her background that explains her reaction.
A good editor points out that no, the scene may be in your mind, but you failed to put it in the book.
My beta readers are also sending feedback. So far it has been positive, with few questions or comments. When they do mention a doubt, I take them seriously. One thing they like is for a character to act -- well, in character. The most frequent comment I get is, "I don't think he would do that." Or, "say that."
I don't know about you, but when I contemplate downloading a book (even if it's free) I check the reviews. If more than one person writes that the story was good, but she was turned off by the poor grammar, the typos or the formatting, I take a pass.
I don't want that to happen to me. If I send it to a publisher, I don't want to be rejected because of errors. And if I decide to self-publish, I need to be doubly certain that the book contains as few problem areas as possible.
So thanks to my editor friend and to my readers.
And now, to work.