“Editing: The most important thing you will ever do. I’m not kidding. First, self-edit. Find your style. Do you like to edit as you write? Do you prefer to finish the first draft and then go back and edit? Fine. The important thing is that you do it. You may scoff, but there are people out there who skip this step altogether. Amazing but true. Cross your t’s, dot your i’s, and edit for grammar and punctuation. Then edit for content: GMC, characterization, plot consistency, romantic conflict, dialogue and dialogue tags. It is not your writing group’s, your critique partner’s or your editor’s job to do this. That’s right, IT IS NOT YOUR EDITOR’S JOB. By the time you send your manuscript to your editor it should be as clean as you can possibly make it. Most editors will tell you that their job is content editing, not line editing. And if you send a submission full of errors to an editor or agent? In most cases they won’t read past the first glaring mistake.
Second, edits from an editor or agent. Do them. Suck it up and drive on. You all three have the same goal: to produce the best, most marketable book possible. If they have to fight you every step of the way, then guess what? You’re not worth their time. Because there are writers out there who will gladly do the edits. And that is the author they would rather work with. The best advice I ever received was from writer Claudia Dain, who said the correct response to an editor’s request for rewrites or edits was, “You want words? I’ve got words. I’m a writer.” I have followed that advice religiously. I do the edits, I don’t argue, I get them done on time, and I hand them in with a thank you. And yes, this does make a difference in how I’m treated. And I also think my books are better for every edit I have made. Remember, editors and agents are your first readers. If something doesn’t work for them, chances are it won’t work for Jane Doe Reader, either.”
Visit Samantha Kane’s website at www.samanthakane.us
Purchase Samantha’s latest release, Love in Exile.