Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Team of Writer and Editor

By Andrea Merrell

In my last post, we talked about the importance of paying for a professional edit. Today, let’s discuss the writer and editor working together as a team.

Writing—at least for most people—is not a solitary venture. Most of us are members of critique groups, attend writers’ conferences on a regular basis, and have writing buddies who love to get together to brainstorm ideas. Some of us even have wives, husbands, children, aunts, uncles, neighbors, and friends who love to read and can give us valuable feedback on our stories.

But there’s another person who plays a vital role in the quality and success of your project: your editor.

Whether you plan to self-publish and hire a freelance editor or have one assigned to you through your publishing company, this person can become your greatest ally and even a valued friend. The partnership between writer and editor is a key factor in the process.

An editor’s input is essential for both the new writer and the experienced author.  Once we write, rewrite, edit, proof—and then start the process all over again—we can become “blind” to our own mistakes. As writers, we know what’s supposed to be on that page. We know our story and characters so well we dream about them and have conversations with them in our head. But after we’ve read through our manuscript a number of times, our eyes begin to skip over obvious mistakes. That’s why we all need help. As I like to say, even the best editor needs an editor.

So, what can you as a writer expect from your relationship with your editor?

When you and your editor are working together as a team, I truly believe you can learn more about the writing process than in a workshop or conference, because this is doing and not just hearing.

Bottom line: trust your editor. Work with him or her and learn from the process. If you have questions and suggestions, don’t be afraid to voice them. Your editor is there to make you look good and help your words shine.

Do you have any questions about the relationship between writer and editor? We would love to hear from you.

(Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Stuart Miles/Master isolated images.) 


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