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By The Author’s Writer, August 22, 2022
Do you need an editor?
That depends upon your own editing skills as well as what you are writing.
If you are not a professional editor, I would say that you do need an editor, but not early in the process (that’s when you would want to work with a book coach, if you so desire). You would work with an editor later on, such as when your book, blog, article, or manuscript is completed, or you have written at least a rough draft.
Before you hire an editor, you must first understand what an editor does.
An editor edits. An editor does not write, per se.
An editor edits your work! An editor makes suggestions. They may also rewrite if you ask them to.
An editor can do a developmental edit, where they can provide an overall, comprehensive perspective of your work. They can also find gaps in your writing, such as places where information is missing, ideas could be expanded, or the language is lacking. They can even help you eliminate extraneous language and make suggestions as to what you can cut out without changing your inherent meaning.
If you are writing a fiction piece, an editor can let you know if a character or plot is believable and likeable. If you are writing nonfiction, an editor can let you know if your content is believable and likeable.
Is your story believable?
An editor can let you know if you are providing too much information or not enough. An editor can also let you know if anything in your writing is confusing.
In other words, editors make suggestions!
An editor can and should also perform a line edit, which involves commenting upon and fixing strangely or awkwardly worded sentences, finding awkward word choices and suggesting alternative ones, and cleaning up grammar, punctuation, spelling, and formatting errors. A line editor will also point out areas that need attention or they may do the corrections for you, depending upon your work agreement.
An editor’s goal is namely to make your piece of writing better, more intelligible, and more appealing to a reader.
Sometimes when we get too close to our writing, it’s hard to see the defects. We understand what we are writing because, well, we wrote it. How could we not? But others may not understand the message. Understanding the message is key. Having a good message that resonates with others is also vital. You can write a perfectly executed grammatical piece that is dull, drab, boring and doesn’t speak to the reader.
So, obviously, writing is so much more than producing a grammatically clean piece. Grammar is important. But the message is more important.
What is that message? That message is something that hasn’t been written about before. Or, maybe it has, but it sees it in a new light. It is a message that people want and need to hear.
It is a message with mindset. What is mindset? Your belief as a writer that you have something very important to say. If you do not believe in your message, that it is unique, vital, and important, then why will others? This is often why unfinished manuscripts remain unfinished. Because the author did not believe in the message. That’s the only reason.
An important message needs to be read and heard. The world would not be the same without it.
It all has to do with your message!
An important message will change the world!
So, when you decide to work with an editor, make sure that both you and the editor have the same mission and goal: To make your book better. But, not to change the meaning, to enhance it. If you need someone to help you craft, shape, and shine your message, then you might want to work with a ghostwriter who also edits. Best wishes from The Author’s Writer