Edit or Bust

“There Are Two Typos Of People In This World: Those Who Can Edit And Those Who Can’t”
– Jarod Kintz

 

I like to fancy myself a writer.  Why do you think I have this blog?  The advent of Kindle, Kobo, Nook, etc., has made it simple and encouraging for “little” writers to find their works published.  I myself have a short story on Kindle.  Why don’t I have more?  Because I refuse to fall victim to the biggest trap self-pubbers find themselves in.

They haven’t had someone edit their work.

Oh sure, they’ve read and re-read their works till they’re reciting it in their sleep, but therein lies the rub.  They know what they want to say, so all they’re going to see is that correct phrase, word, what have you.

Case in point:  A few years ago, I was working on a now-defunct chick-lit story.  I sent a copy to my dear friend Chelsea, and some time later, she was emailing me a response, telling me she found the funniest typing error she’s ever seen.  Instead of popping the trunk, I had my character pooping the drunk. Spell check wouldn’t catch any of those words, and because computers can’t read my creative flow, it had no idea a girl pooping the drunk before going golfing with an electrician is a little off.  So I had a good laugh and went to my manuscript to fix the mistake.  Thing is, I had NO idea where it was.  Chelsea had told me which page it was on, and I read and re-read that page at least 3 times before I found what she was referring to.  Because I knew girlie was popping the trunk, and that’s all my eyes saw.

Writers have a hard enough time finding the market to buy their books.  Don’t make it harder for readers to take you seriously because you’re so excited about getting your book online.  Wait that extra day, week, month, however long it takes to get it edited by a friend, semi-professional, professional.  I get most of us are self-pubbing/e-pubbing because we don’t have the representation that can get us contacts with the editing firms, but there are editors out there who know their craft, and are dying to get a portfolio built.  They’ll help us out.  Use the network.  Build the community.

I recently finished a book I purchased for Kindle from an e-pubber.  I’m not going to into critiquing the novel itself.  It wasn’t my favourite, nor was it a total loss, but I did notice by the 75% mark, sentences became sloppy, actions became rushed and “the’s” turned into “thee’s” (among others).  Little details like these are easily fixed if we just take the time to review.  I have a novel itching to be read, but it is not ready.  The ending is rushed.  I haven’t had enough feedback, and more.

Do I think getting my novel published will be a fast track to being able to live the life I was born to live?  Sometimes, yes.

Am I so eager to live that life I’m willing to put out a poor copy?  Never.

People love critiquing creative people’s works.  Love breaking them down instead of building them up.  Don’t give them fodder.

 
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1 Comment

  1. I am a terrible self-editor. I have a number of things I need to have someone else look at, but haven’t done it yet for a multitude of reasons. You’re right though, I usually have to walk away from a story for a day or more before I can see my own mistakes and many times I still can’t see it. It’s like a creative blindness.


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