----------------------Editing is probably the best worst thing ever.
It’s true, everyone hates it, but yet we slog our way through it, and in most cases we do it more than once…heck we probably do it more than fifty times for each book. Why? I mean, it’s horrible and we all hate it with a passion, so why do we keep putting ourselves through the pain? Because without editing we’d send books out to publishers and agents, or publish them ourselves, with horrible errors that will keep the people reading them from seeing the awesome because they’ll be too focused on the fact that we said they’re when we meant their.
Editing is for me, the most painful part of writing. When I’m creating I just write and write, I don’t worry about spelling or run on sentences, or even if what I’m writing truly makes sense. I just write away and enjoy the flow of awesome I’m sure is pouring onto the page. And then, I go back and I attack every word with a pointy stick. Does this really need to be here, does that word capture the feeling I’m trying to convey, and why did I think I needed to spend a paragraph explaining that? I slash and hack, and tear it all apart. And then when I’ve made a pass at slaying the monsters in my manuscript…I send it out to trusted alpha readers and make them go through the same process with me.
I am always amazed at how many issues my alpha readers spot that I missed. I usually send my work out to two trusted editors. First one, and then the other, so that I don’t get edit conflicts or confusion, and it always shocks me how much they both spot. It’s proof that you shouldn’t be the only one looking at your finished work and if you can swing it, more eyes are always better.
Once my alpha readers are finished going over everything with a fine toothed comb, I send my work out to beta readers. These are the folks who’ve said they loved my work in the past. They’re the folks I want to tell me if a part of the story doesn’t make sense, or if I’ve messed up a storyline from a past book. In my heart of hearts I want them all to come back raving about how amazing my work is, but that’s not really the point. The point is for them to serve as a final check before I send my baby out the door into the world.
I self publish, so for me editing is crucial, and I believe it is for anyone who is planning on having someone else read their work. If you’re sending out to an agent or a publisher, you don’t want them missing your story because they can’t get past the spelling and grammar errors, and if you’re self publishing, you don’t want to put something out there that isn’t as perfect as you can make it. You may only get one chance to capture a reader, and you don’t want to loose them or have them write a bad review that could lead to you missing out on other possible readers.
S.M. Hineline has written and self-published two novels.
Find her and her work online: Hunting (book #1) | Discovery (book #2) | Twitter | Goodreads | Hunting Wiki