Editing Requires a Thick Skin and a Sharp Eyes


Did you catch the error?  Look again. It’ s not always so easy to see misspelled words. In other words, editing is tough work. But it’s got to be done. It’s no wonder students resist it. How often have I tried to edit a student’s work only to have them sneer at me and refuse to make the changes? Or, a student might feign compliancy but then keep the original text. The bottom line is that writing is subjective on every level. If we can keep that in mind, as writing instructors, then we can find ways to preserve the emerging writer’s sense of identity as a writer. Handle with care should be the motto.

Nevertheless, most published authors and professional writers agree, that an objective party is the best way to ensure the piece is polished. But, on the other hand, editing can be overdone too. I know that each time I revisit a completed passage and make changes, I increase the risk that I will omit a period or comma or leave off a letter. As for the content, that’s a matter of reorganizing, slashing, rewording, clarifying etc. A job that I need to do myself.


I stumbled upon a blogger by the name of Jeff Goins; he is the author of the eBook, The Writer’s Manifesto. Check it out if you’re so inclined.  At any rate, the blog was aptly titled Why Writers Can’t Edit Their Own Wrok. (I’ll tell you that I didn’t catch that, initially).  He had excellent ideas that included the writer being biased and too subjective. The writer needs fresh eyes, someone that is not so attached to the work;  In the comments section it was a mixed bag—accomplished authors felt comfortable enough editing their work, but others agreed with Jeff.

I’m on the fence. I’ve used another pair of eyes and, still, errors remained. And sometimes it becomes confusing when someone eidts (oops, edits)  and asks you to change content (which happens) and you disagree. Sometimes, it’s wise. But other times, maybe not.  How far do you go?
Bottom line: You are the creator; you don’t always know why you write what you write; often times, it is on an unconscious level; it is aesthetic; your original writing is authentic and significant so don’t alter it too much or it will become like a misshaped top, never returning to its original form;  trust your instincts; trust that you know what you’re doing and avoid self-doubt.
Caveat: Don’t ever think that you have to keep something that isn’t moving the plot along or adding to character development. It may be a whole page or a chapter or more that you end up omitting. So be it. Try to think of it as liberating, opening space, cleaning house. When you discard words, passages, characters,  you open doors and allow new ideas to enter.
Thank you for visiting. Please come again, soon!
eb

Let’s Agree to Disagree said the ePubber to the Agent

Interesting Finds:

I found a blog that reviews self-published authors. I stumbled upon it in some tangential manner I can’t even articulate. Needless to say, I was appalled by the harsh critiques. The majority of her critiques were BAD. So, who cares, right? Well, it wouldn’t matter so much except that this blogger is a renowned agent with many connections, clout, etc.

Questions:

Hm. Why does she (said agent) want to review published authors (books must be POD), most of which are already successful (the ones I noticed) with more than two books under their belt and a fan base. So, then, maybe it’s the self-publishing industry that’s intolerable to her? And what’s up with the authors? Maybe a stellar review from this agent will help secure a contract or sell more books? I don’t know. I don’t think I’d want to risk her scathing remarks. I’m too fragile. At any rate, I think there are more diplomatic ways to agree to disagree while preserving the dignity of the author, self-pubbed or not. The books must be good if they sell, right? I have lots of questions and it’s clear I need to do my homework. I’m a naive when it comes to the industry.

Book update:

I just finished up a free promo; downloads totaled about 170 or so. Not too bad considering it’s a specialty book. I was in the top ranking, lowest was 1,007. Wow! That’s out of one million kindle books. But I decided to increase the price to $2.99. Now, it’s stagnant and my sales ranking is in the 200, 000ish range. I wanted the 70 percent royalties with KDP. And if people want it, they can pay a few dollars. But, that’s not to say that I won’t return to the 0.99. I’ll bide my time.

Novella:

I’m working hard at completing the final chapters. It’s taking longer because I always wind up in places I didn’t expect. My tweaking and editing is endless.  I hope to have it edited and published within a month.

Thanks for the visit.

eb