Writing Tips From An Editor #1

As I tentatively take steps towards growing my business, I thought it might be a good time to start a series filled with tips for my fellow writers.

As someone who spent years quietly dreaming of seeing my book displayed on the shelves of the book shop, I know how exciting and daunting working towards that can be.

Let me help you.

This week I wanted to start with this one simple statement:

On your road to getting published YOU NEED AN EDITOR.

It has been scientifically proven that when we read our own work we see what we want it to be, not what it is. That is not to say that what you have isn’t great, it really is. Your story is unique, wonderful, and deserves to meet the world.

Now, I am also aware that sometimes hiring an editor just isn’t within budget. So, while hiring a professional is always going to get you the best results, the next best thing is to get some beta readers. These can be friends, family, a writing group – there are tons of helpful ones across social media filled with like minded individuals. Whoever you ask to read through your work just make sure they are going to be honest.

When they read through they are going to able to pick out points where the flow isn’t right, they might see punctuation errors or sentences that sound like a word salad. They will even be able to give you some feedback on the plot and storyline itself – if it’s too predictable, if something doesn’t make sense.

You need fresh eyes on your work if you want a tight, seamless manuscript, whether that’s from a professional or not.

If you read through my blog I’m sure you will see it’s littered with errors, and that’s because I’m too close to my own work, even as a professional Editor.

Last night I read through a manuscript that I put together for an author recently, before sending it back to them and realised it needed another go over. As a ghostwriter the same thing happens to me there, too. So another tip for self editing would be to give yourself some distance from your work before you come back to edit it. Try and come back to it with fresh eyes and you’ll see more authentically. Reading out loud can also help you to hear the nuances and the flow more accurately.

You can also use editing software, there are a lot out there. You don’t even have to pay for some of them sometimes the free version is enough. My only warning with those is to manually check every suggestion because it’s more suited to scholarly writing rather than descriptive fiction or non-fiction. Sometimes the software is wrong, you have to use your judgment.

I hope this has been helpful, I’ll try and post tips every now and then for writing and editing. I want to see every writer bringing their best self forward. Let’s create a world where we empower each other.

Next weeks topic: developing writing habits.

If you’re interested in connecting with me professionally my website is available here:

https://www.writing-things.com/

You can email me at emma@writing-things.com

I am currently accepting submissions for Editing and Ghostwriting services, but there are limited slots. I have more availability coming up in the Autumn. I look forward to getting to know you, talking about your work, and showing you how I can help ☺️

P.S I also offer a book coaching service, so if you just need someone to talk to, throw ideas around with, or to kick you up the bum to get you moving, please also reach out ❤️

© Emma Stead

9 responses to “Writing Tips From An Editor #1”

  1. Great tips, Emma. Thank you for sharing them. It’s funny when we go back to read our old stuff and spot endless errors and weird sentences 😄 It’s nice to have someone to share our work with. Sometimes even new ideas can come with it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly! It can be scary to share our work with others at first, but it brings a whole new level of professionalism and clarity to our work along with a new perspective. Thank you for reading!

      Like

  2. The tip about getting an editor, Emma is so important. Having an editor helped me to get my first poetry collection published. Once you get over the shock of someone giving some constructive feedback on your work, you discover it is a vital part of the publishing process.

    Liked by 1 person

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