The editing conversation


The editing debate... 

I am in the category of broke writers. I invested in grammarly premium, under $200 (after using it several times, I can see the difference and now I catch more errors while writing) I also had a lot of stomach aches, frustration and tears, trying to figure out how to rewrite something that I thought was fine; but with editing sounded better. I sometimes worry that I will lose what I think is the originality of my voice. But then I  think, do readers really care about my voice or just want to read a great story. 

On grammarly, I don't stop editing until I get that 100 score, then go back like the rebel I sometimes am, and change a word that they said would be too difficult for knowledgeable readers. Which drops my score to 99. As a person who likes getting the best score possible, it's a constant source of anxiety for me.

Grammarly offers structural editing pros.  I checked the price for one chapter of one of my current wip novellas. I edited using their tool first and it was over $300. Yeah, hard pass because it didn't have it. 

You may want to consider a ghost writer. 

I recently bought these books at 50% off at a closing down Barnes and Nobles and was considering putting up an ad for bartering editing services since I am close to a college...and need a reliable gardener for my back yard habitat. And yes that bookmark is a PowerBall ticket so if I win something I can pay for pro editing. I rarely buy them, I hate losing my $2.

I also invested in a Masters Class by Neil Gaimin under $200

This was long saved money from performing wedding ceremonies. Being an officiant, I write and then have to speak what I have written,  making it appealing to the couple and engaging to their guests. I am good at it according to my reviews.  However, writing whole stories, creating engaging character personalities, world building and plots that make sense and keep readers turning the page is a whole different kind of macaroni.

Because of covid, and being a full time care giver for my MIL, my wedding business is virtually over, leaving me with little to no money to invest in writing professionals.  I have to do the hard work myself. The same as many writers out there who enjoy writing and cannot afford to pay for editing.

The novel I am writing would have cost nearly $7000 to be edited and I am not even finished writing it yet. I was just putting feelers out there to see what to expect. Editing is tedious and hard work. That's why it's so expensive and probably because their hard work is going to make you money. 

.02 to .15 cents a word adds up quickly. If you have a lot of fluff or filler words that are going to be cut anyways, investing in even a modest editing app or program can make your writing more concise. 

If you have no choice but to edit yourself,  try these:

  • Walk away and come back, then reread. 
  • Use the preview option. Obvious errors pop there.
  • Read the sentence with some of the words taken out. Does it still make sense? Does it get the point across?
  • Join a group that beta reads for free with honest feedback 
  • Prepare to get your feelings hurt; better now then after publication.
  • Be open to constructive criticism 
  • Read more. It's relaxing and it teaches without judgment what works.
  • Invest in books that offer writing advice 
  • Keep writing,  you will get better.  

I cannot offer suggestions on creating, correcting or developing the flow and plot lines of your stories. Those are things that need a skilled eye to help you with or and I think a dose of natural talent. There are books and videos for those things as well.

There are plenty of books on these writing apps that haven't seen any sort of editing and they are getting reads in the hundred thousands to over a million reads. Some are actually really good stories, making me wonder why they aren't selling their work. A lot of their stories are being stolen and sold on foreign sites as original work, some are even adapted into TV shows. Most of these writers are writing simply for the love of writing.

With minimal editing and slapped on a paying book market site, these writers, who can't afford proper editing would probably still crush it if only half of their readers paid.

I get both sides of the argument because I love reading too and used to book blog and would mention if there were easy to spot edits or if something didn't make sense. Another thing I see, commonly, is writers misspelling their characters names. Perhaps it's auto-correction related, but you have to at least have your characters names written correctly throughout the book. 

Write the crap chapter. Even if you know it's not correct. The idea is still there. Go back later and take another look at it and it usually works itself out. I did this recently for the first time instead of spending time I didn't have on the issue. I marked it and came back later with fresh eyes and immediately saw how I wanted it to read. It was scary because I had not used the method before but it turned out to be useful advice.  Just get it written down. 

Don't let authors that may have a modicum of success bully you. I see this a lot online. A newbie asks a simple question and immediately they are skewered and roasted for their lack of knowledge.  They seem to forget they were new at one time. Whatever happened to reaching down to help pull another up? I read the comments to questions and screenshot the answers that are helpful. 

Not everyone goes to college and even less have degrees in writing. It doesn't mean they shouldn't write if that is their passion and happy place. 

I am no pro but hopefully some of my rambling offers you some suggestions. 


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