Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Why (Almost) Every Writer Needs an Editor

February 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 129

If you are a rare, blessed author who doesn't need editing, you needn't read this. In my 35 years as a professional editor I've never met you. Perhaps that's because you don't seek out what you don't need. That makes sense. I can tell you, though, that the vast majority of authors benefit from an editor. Even superstar authors who regularly top best seller lists include editors on their Acknowledgements page.

Whether it's a novel, a self-help book, a coffee table book of photography, a children's storybook, a collection of poetry, articles, or anything else you want to see published, you (almost certainly) will benefit by engaging an editor. Why? Because you're too close to your own work to see it clearly, to see it the way your readers will.

An editor is a champion of your work and a defender of the reader's desire for material that is as compelling as possible and free of errors. Every time a reader stumbles across a formatting mistake or an inappropriate adjective or a grammar mistake or a spelling blunder, the reader pops out of the flow. Too many pops and you will lose the reader. It's that simple.

Editorial services fall into these categories:

Coaching helps you define your concept or overcome story flow problems or get past a writing block. Coaching can be delivered through talking about it or as a written analysis with detailed comments. It can also be a combination of approaches. Structural editing is deep and extensive. If your work needs a structural edit, however, you'll be stunned by the benefit of having an expert help you reassemble your work in a way that flows and compels readers to turn the page. Substantive editing looks at the whole to identify errant logic, gratuitous language, thin plot points, and repetition that undermines rather than supports. An astute editor will also identify your troublesome writing habits. (We all have them!) The editor will help you craft a tight, coherent, internally consistent, readable story in your voice. Line editing polishes your writing, making it consistent with smooth transitions that lead the reader onward. Copy editing makes sure that your work follows grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting rules.

Good editors provide a detached, professional, seasoned, and honest perspective about your work. Their goal is to help you tell the best story (or write the finest article or develop the most exquisite poetry) you can. You've poured your heart and soul into it, right? Give your work the best chance to reach the widest audience.

I thoroughly enjoy helping authors create their best work. Please get in touch if I can help you.

Jerilyn Marler is a freelance writing coach and editor with over 35 years of experience. Over the years she has written three books about WordPerfect for MIS:Press, a subsidiary of Henry Holt Publishers; edited dozens of technical books; edited a children's book, a medical text book, and a book on divorce at the same time and managed to stay sane; and has written/edited end user documentation and marketing materials for more products than she can count. She recently launched her own publishing company, Quincy Companion Books, and has published two books that help military families cope with the challenges of deployment separation.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:





Substantive Edit


Line Edit


Structural Edit


Copy Edit







Teenage rebellion is easier to tolerate in book or film form. Take a look back at some of the most well known and loved "coming of age" stories set in boarding schools.

By: Harvey McEwan l Arts & Entertainment l July 10, 2012 lViews: 444

An important thing you have to consider before working out is having a pair of great training shoes. You cannot immediately undergo any physical training wearing inappropriate footwear. If you do so,

By: Steve Hill l Recreation & Sports l July 10, 2012 lViews: 348

Granite is one natural stone that is used for several purposes from dimension stone to countertops to sculptures. The use of granite for building the temples and monuments was initiated millions

By: Steve L Patterson l Arts & Entertainment l July 10, 2012 lViews: 297

Up to 65,000 H-1B visas for new employment may be issued each fiscal year (FY) for professional workers, including medical providers. In general, a person who already has an H-1B and applies for

By: Ann Badmus l Arts & Entertainment l July 10, 2012 lViews: 308

Beside coin shooting, gold detecting or the many other things you can do with your metal detector. There is a large group of people who take their metal detector out looking for old stuff. Not just

By: Candy L Lindsey l Recreation & Sports l July 07, 2012 lViews: 293

Many people want to be writers and you may be one of them. In order to make your dream occupation a reality, you need to have a plan. You also need to work on this plan constantly. These tips from a

By: Harriet Hodgson l Writing & Speaking l July 06, 2012 lViews: 439

As with all writing, the trick with property descriptions is to be creative. Not for art's sake, but for your reader's sake. And ultimately for the sake of your response rate.

By: Glenn Murrayl Writing & Speakingl July 06, 2012 lViews: 169

Many people want to be writers and you may be one of them. In order to make your dream occupation a reality, you need to have a plan. You also need to work on this plan constantly. These tips from a

By: Harriet Hodgsonl Writing & Speakingl July 06, 2012 lViews: 439

By reorganizing your website, you can control the key elements of your writing business directly from your office, and there are lots of effective tools to make your job easier. You profit in both

By: Charles Jacobsl Writing & Speakingl July 05, 2012 lViews: 170

Memorable characters have at least one (or more) unique traits, mannerisms or habits to make them stand out from the "crowd" of other fictional people you create for your novel. These reinforce the

By: Charles Jacobsl Writing & Speakingl July 05, 2012 lViews: 247

One particular in the most important factors for anybody who would like to wager income in an online casino will be the safety. Find some info here about how casinos deal with this problem.

By: Matthew Handl Writing & Speakingl July 01, 2012 lViews: 141

A lot of businesses are into press release writing and it's because of several valid reasons. Mainly though, it's due to its effectiveness in business promotion. Both online and offline enterprises

By: Reed Slidelll Writing & Speakingl July 01, 2012 lViews: 130

With some thought and preparation--and healthy dose of creative love--you can build a relationship connection that will withstand deployment separation. You can kiss goodbye with a profound and

By: Jerilyn Marlerl Relationships > Commitmentl January 29, 2012 lViews: 259