Editing... Schmediting

You've got this great idea for a story. You pour countless hours into developing characters, the plot, a powerful opening and a nerve-ratcheting ending. You pass it on to friends to read. They love it and catch a few mistakes. You chew them up and then trash 30,000 words to build your novel into a tighter package. And then you publish...

Shortly afterwards, someone points out a couple of typos. Some names got mixed up. Words were missing from a few sentences. And that's only in the first few chapters. Holy shit! It's out there in strangers' hands and you sent them something your 4th grader could have churned out after school while watching cartoons and sipping strawberry Quik. What the hell happened? Where was the disconnect?

Sure, you went over the work a dozen times and your beat readers caught much of the claptrap you spit up on the page, but were they distant enough to step back and catch it all? Maybe. But it doesn't hurt to hire a professional that can dig into the written words and red tag all those little bloopers you dropped along the way.
After I published Frenzy I found some stupid mistakes. And then some people close to me found more. Then I went back in and damn near fainted (not to be confused with feinted - ha!). Did I really lose myself in the story so much that I published an amateurish novel? Kinda looks that way.
Fortunately, I can edit more and resubmit the book so future readers don't have to wade through my bullshit. But a word of advice: spend the money to hire a quality proofreader. It doesn't take much of a Google search to turn them up. Me, I friended one on Facebook and fully intend on using her services on the next novel. Learn from this daddy that sent his child off to school with a warm, clean coat and pants... and stained, hole-ridden underwear. Bad dad. No Fireball for you!
I know that we are all anxious to get our work out there for public consumption but take the time to clean up every little detail. Don't be afraid to spend a couple of bucks to tidy up the story and make it as solid a read as possible. Love your child enough to clothe them in the finest garbs and good luck to you.
Me, I'm going to pour me a stiff one and continue cleaning up my mess.


  1. What about never publishing? Never thinking your work will be good enough to send out... at some point t you have to send that bitch out there ....

  2. Absolutely. You can only attack your work so much before you get burned out. But that doesn't mean don't make it the best that you can.


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