How many times do I need to write the same book? Have you, like me, ever asked that question? I have a novel that I have went through six times and am still not willing to attempt to publish it. Why? Because it is not ready. No, not because the book sucks. I feel like it is a very good story. But it needs work. What have I learned by this process, two things?
The best edit is still with a red pen on paper. The last edit is reading the text of the work aloud. I have edited, to death, on the computer and still recommend it for the first go through. On my new work I used a red pen edit for my second edit, a red pen edit by someone else for my third edit and a read through, oral edit for my final.
No professional edit? I don’t think so, not for these works. I may seek additional input from another outside, non-professional, editor but have decided to go it on my own. I have published numerous short stories and at times, must admit, when I read the published version, I found something I wish I had edited, either more or better.
Why all this? I tried, in vain, to find a professional editor and could not. They charged too much or too little, wanted to change too much or too little. Makes me sound a bit like Goldilocks from, The Story of the Three Bears, I just couldn’t find a, just right, fit.
Will it work? Not sure. Remember in the old days when people said, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”? Guess I will find out. I spent years doing content edits and rewrites for graduate students while teaching in Laramie, but never edited grammar or punctuation unless it was so bad even I could see it. Until a year ago I still did some editing for two print magazines.
Most writers, if not all, say you should have a professional edit your work, and I hear about all the changes and remarks made, and all the time you spend re-writing, and I do my own editing. My stories are not written for the critic, but for common, ordinary western readers with plain, old common sense, and not a helluva lot of thought about the critical aspects. I know there is a big audience out there and it will take time to reach most of them.
Hey Oscar, I have read two of your books and they looked good to me. I agree critics be dammed, it is the reader that is important.
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