Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Should I have it professionally edited?

I've written a book, and now I need feedback. Editors are expensive, so I ask some people to read it and tell me what they think.

"That's so amazing!" said Mom. Translation: I think everything you do is wonderful, Sweetheart.

"I really enjoyed it. Great job!" said Coworker. Translation: I didn't know you could do this.

"That's good. It reminds me of ____ (fill in the blank with another title)____. I'd like to see more action," said Crit Partner. Translation: There might be some glaring deficits in this, but I can't say anything since we will get together again next week, and I don't want to offend you.

But when you ask a professional editor, the feedback is like:
  • I like the humorous…
  • This part will appeal to _________ audiences.
  • Things I find likable about  ___(name of character)___ is…
  • This section lacks conflict. Opportunities for more conflict could be…
  • This part of your story is overpowering that part of your story. You might want to consider…
  • You could strengthen the romantic plot by exploring…
  • There is some discontinuity in…
  • ___(name of character___ needs more character growth.
  • I wondered if you need to keep this section. 
Should I have it professionally edited?
YES!
But I'm self-publishing.
Still YES!
But I'm sending it to an agent.
Still YES!
But my publisher will do that.
Um…guess my answer.
Still YES!

Don't get me wrong--the feedback from those other people will still inform your revisions, but to get unbiased feedback relative to marketability, working with an editor is a good idea.

Deanna and I use Eschler Editing (Yes, this is a shameless plug, but since I don't get a kickback, my conscience is clear.) and appreciate the candid feedback.

1 comment:

Donna K. Weaver said...

Candide feedback from people who know what they're talking about is critical!