Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Importance of Editors

I've touched on this topic before. With the recent increase in self-published material, it is a important subject to discuss. All readers expect quality in the work they purchase. While it's true books will usually have a typo or two (or possibly more), less is certainly more. Several top selling authors have been flamed recently regarding the lack of edits in their work (one most notably is a huge author, at one of the large New York Publishers, who had an entire scene missing from her book due to a miscommunication during edits). Readers are starting to notice the lack of editing, and they are becoming more vocal about it.

Which is why I feel having an editor is damn important.

As I've stated before, all of my editors are different. Each has his or her own way of doing things. I'm fine with that, as I learn during the process. Some experiences are better than others. I love having an editor who enjoys my story, believes in it, and wants to make the manuscript all it can be. However, there have been occasions when I've had to relinquish control and change a story into something I didn't originally envision. It's part of being published. You listen to those far more knowledgeable than you and trust they'll make your story shine.

I cannot stress just how much I need an editor. As a writer, I don't see the mistakes in my work. Even if I wait a month and return to the book, I'll skip right past an improperly used word (it's been proven if a word begins and ends with the same letter this occurs often), fail to notice repetition in word choice, etc. That's why I rely on an extra pair of eyes to pinpoint what I cannot. Yes, I'm an author who needs an editor. I'm not ashamed to admit it. Without one, my stories would be too wordy, too lengthy, and probably a pain in the ass to read.

I recently stumbled across an interesting Amazon thread discussing a very popular author and the fact she has written a "no-edit" clause in her contract. The notion baffled me. Who wouldn't want to have an editor to clean up grammatical mistakes, search for holes in a story, and make sure you don't land on your face because you call a character the wrong name (something I'm guilty of, I confess) or forget to dress a character after a love scene. Not me, that's for sure.

So yeah, I'm all for pimping my editors. Skyla Dawn (Mundania), Mary and Serena (Loose Id), and Ann (Ellora's Cave) you rock my world. Thanks for making me a better author, for helping me hone my craft, and for inspiring me to create bigger, better stories. My books wouldn't be the same without you.

Now for your weekly eye-candy. Happy Hump Day!

2 comments:

Sharon said...

lol, about the repeated words. I beta for a few authors and everyone of them have a "description word" of the day. They use it constantly through out the story . I flag it the first few times I see it, and then have a little fun with them after that. One of my favorite goofs to catch is when the characters are in one location in a room and then *magically appear somewhere else to do an action .

J.A. Saare said...

Sharon,

The past few books my words have been versus and ensure. They are EVERYWHERE. I've taken care of them in a couple of books but I'll have to watch out for them in TRS.

It's something we all do. When you write, you get in the zone and don't think about those sorts of things. :)

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