Give It To Me Straight
When writing The Power of Faith When Tragedy Strikes for Chris and Terry Norton, I’d lined up an editor who was instrumental in getting the book off the ground. She offered advice, made professional connections that were invaluable, and even prayed for me and the book. When she had to back out of the project for personal reasons, I panicked. Where on earth was I going to find another editor who would understand and be as passionate about the project as the original editor?
After much searching (and again thanks to my former editor) I submitted the project to a service that connects authors with editors by having the editors bid on and do sample edits of the project. And, boy, was that an illuminating exercise!
As the bids came in and I received the sample edits, two things became very clear: editors and editing styles are very different, and I didn’t want a cursory glance at the manuscript, but a critical analysis.
It would have been very easy to select the cheapest bid where every couple of pages I’d get a grammar correction or two and feel really good about myself and my ability. But I knew better. I’d never written in this genre before, the story needed tightening, and I generally stink at grammar.
In the long run, my choice was easy. Of all the bids I received, one had so many track changes comments, deletions, suggestions, and explanations, that I knew I’d found my editor. The story is stronger for her time and talents, and she led me to a final proofreader who went over the manuscript with a fine tooth comb and made the story that much better.
My point in telling you this is that sometimes the easy way isn’t always the best. If I want to pay someone to tell me how great I am, I can give money to my kids and at least expect something in return (a smile, a hug, and generally good behavior for a few days). When my name is on the cover, I want what’s inside to be the best it can be. Getting from finished draft to polished manuscript requires the expertise of others and the humility to do what’s best for the project.
What about you writers out there? Do you enjoy a thorough edit like I do? Let me know your thoughts.