Friday, June 10, 2011

The Editing Process

Ok, met with my editor this week to go over some chapters of the sequel to The Dragon Forest.

The best part about hiring a professional editor to edit your work is that they won't tell you what you want to hear...but what you need to hear.

For instance, my editor showed me in my work that sometimes I am trying to hard to "show" something to the reader that it distracts from what I am trying to say. And other times I am not showing the reader enough action so the scene isn't moving along or is skipping over actions so the scene doesn't make sense.

Does that make sense?

Well, it is never easy to have someone tell you that your paragraph isn't working! It is tempting to take things personally. But I do appreciate it when my editor does point out to me that something isn't working in a scene.

I try hard not to edit as I write. It isn't easy, but I can accomplish this task once in awhile. I recommend it to any writer. Just write! Let your editor help you work out scenes later. Just get those thoughts down on paper and WRITE! Otherwise, you may hit writer's block or spend too much time worrying about the perfect adjective to insert in the perfect sentence, etc. Before you know it, hours and then days and then weeks have gone by and you haven't written anything down!

Don't fall for that trap.

Another thing my editor told me in our meeting was that I was failing to communicate to the reader an important aspect in my story. After ten chapters! I was shocked because as I wrote scene after scene, I thought for sure I was hinting at the importance of this one aspect in the story. But a good editor doesn't just point out mistakes or flaws without providing solutions. If he or she is not providing you with's time to find another editor.

My editor does provide quality solutions that never fail to make the story a better one. He has a great way of helping me think of adding mystery or intrigue to a scene. He helped me stand back, so to speak, and take second look at my story. As an artist, I have had art instructors do that very thing: they would always have me step back and look at my canvas or paper to see my painting or drawing from another fresh perspective. And it never failed to reveal to me the flaws in the work. This trick works with writing as well. Step back and take a second look at a scene or an idea in your story.

I am grateful for a great editor! I recommend that you find that professional editor to help you see your work through the eyes of your readers...and eventually become a better writer.

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