Ask any writer about a favorite moment in the course of penning a book, and you may hear a variety of responses. Depending on the writer, there is nothing more satisfying than starting a new project, reading up on settings and time periods to gain insight on the book’s theme, or finally writing. The End after months of hard work. Some writers may take longer than others to complete a novel-length manuscript, but regardless of the time spent crafting the piece it is important to devote hours to editing.
1) Once the story is written, the editing process polishes the story and irons out the figurative wrinkles.
At this point, whether you plan to submit your book to an agent or publisher, or produce and distribute on your own, you might think you have enough experience to take on the task. After all, you wrote the story, and who knows it better than you? Right?
Well, it is laudable to take on self-editing and devote more time to your book, but hiring the services of a professional editor may be advantageous. You will be required to pay for services, and while you might feel reluctant to part with cash as you contemplate the return on investment, you must realize this is not an option. Editing is essential, and here are just a few reasons why hiring somebody to work with you can help your book and your reputation as an author.
2) An editor offers a fresh perspective, and a fresh pair of eyes.
Some professional writers suggest that once you finish a work, you should set it aside for a few days before returning to it. The separation allows you to look at your work differently and improve revision. When an editor takes on your manuscript, you benefit from the addition of another perspective. The editor does not rewrite your book to the point that your unique voice becomes diluted, but rather applies polish that enhances your style. He/she also points out any possible issues that could affect the believability of your story.
3) An editor helps with spelling errors.
Authors read their manuscripts over and over again until release day, and even then they are likely to spot missing or transposed letters in words. The spell checking function of your word processing program can spot glaring mistakes, but ultimately you need an editor whose eyes aren’t glazed by familiarity with the book to catch the more elusive gaffs. When you mix “your” with “you’re” a spell checker isn’t likely to mark the error, so it’s important to have your editor work a tighter filter to clean up your book.
4) An editor helps with continuity.
If you give your main character brown hair and blue eyes, and a limp in his left leg, your editor will make sure the description fits throughout the story, unless he dyes his hair and has an operation to fix his leg! All kidding aside, your editor works to fix continuity errors in plot, characterization, and setting. That’s why a paper editing is very important when you write your own book.
5) Editors assist with research.
Authors undertaking projects that involve extensive research will find that sometimes the hours spent researching chews into actual writing time. Your editor will research dubious passages to make sure what you have written makes sense. If you have penned a work set during the Civil War, for example, it will not help your credibility if a character dies in the Battle of Antietam in 1863, when that battle happened a year earlier.