Editing

What to do with your first developmental edit from a real editor

Brendan Raven Hill Dustbin - Black
If you’re like most writers, your first draft likely belongs in a trash bin. But don’t despair. A professional editor can help you turn your garbage into a work of art. | Brendan Raven Hill Dustbin – Black (Photo credits: West Elm)

Picture this. You’ve just completed your first novel and are ready to hire an editor to give it a swift once-over before you publish it. You call an editor who comes highly recommended, and she asks you what kind of edit you are looking for. Do you want a developmental edit? A copy edit? Something in between?

You’re not quite sure, so she asks you if this will be your first edit. You inform her that you have edited it at least five times yourself. Plus, a couple of your friends read it and thought it was pretty cool. Your mom, especially, loved it. Based on this info, your new editor recommends that you put your novel through a developmental edit first. The following is a list of 27 long and crazy steps that many first-timers go through when their first novel manuscript reaches this phase in the writing process: Continue reading “What to do with your first developmental edit from a real editor”

Editing, Publishing

What do you mean, you’re looking for an editor?

handwritten manuscript
It’s going to take a lot of effort to turn this handwritten manuscript into a published novel.

Do you need to hire an editor to clean up your manuscript before self-publishing or querying agents? You may be tempted to skip this step to save a few bucks on publishing costs. However, forgoing the editorial process may cost you dedicated readers in the end. Poorly edited books garner terrible reviews, which then decrease the likelihood that anyone will want to purchase your books in the future.

When determining whether you need an editor, it is essential to understand exactly what an editor does. While attending a recent self-publishing seminar, I overheard a fellow writer discussing his need to hire someone to edit his manuscript. At first, I was tempted to offer my services. However, after listening to him talk for a while, I began to get the idea that what he was looking for was a proofreader, not an editor. The more he talked, the less I wanted to work for him. Continue reading “What do you mean, you’re looking for an editor?”