When I originally started writing The Scavenger, I had always assumed I wouldn’t have the budget for a professional editor. It had never really been a question after I had started looking at prices and saw what people could charge. But as I continued drafting and editing my work, it became more and more apparent that it might be smart to get another opinion on what I was missing. Sure, my Beta Readers were doing their thing (and doing an amazing job, might I add) but sometimes an editor can give you answers to questions you didn’t know you had about your work as well as a much needed new perspective.
I actually met my editor as a friend of a friend. She was extremely time and cost efficient, making the whole process a lot easier than I thought it would be. I highly recommend Miranda Glasheen if you’re looking for a manuscript editor with a cheap, affordable rate and a great personality 🙂 You can also contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From working with Miranda, I learned many things. Most of them tie directly with my book, but some can be applied to all writers. Among them, I’ve chosen three that I wish to share with you. Hopefully, these will help you as they helped me!
- Fact check, fact check, fact check. For my story, I did a decent amount of research on the topic, but not as thoroughly as I probably should have. Miranda caught the inconsistencies immediately. She even went so far as to do research of her own to help me and was able to fill a lot of those plot holes. To make the process go quicker, though, do the research yourself. It helps save a lot of time later on.
- That little voice in the back of your head is most likely right. I don’t know about you, but while I’m writing I can sometimes hear a little voice in the back of my head (not literally, of course — more like a subdued thought). I like to think of it as my Writing Conscious. It’ll point out a plot hole in a scene or a character that needs more development. Sometimes I’ll dismiss it, saying that it’s not too bad, the reader won’t notice, etc. But for a lot of those moments in which I didn’t listen, Miranda pointed them out and helped give ideas on how to change them. So if you get those moments where you feel like you should change something or something’s not flowing correctly, think about changing it!
- Lastly, your work isn’t perfect. Okay, I’ll admit it. While I was waiting for a response, a little part of me was hoping I would get an email back stating it was great and she loved every minute of it. Although that would be awesome, I understand it’s totally unrealistic and wouldn’t help me grow as a writer. And an editor’s job is not to sing your praises. They’re supposed to give you constructive criticism and our job as the writer is to use it. So no, much as we will it to be, our work is not perfect.
I obviously learned many other things besides the things listed when working with Miranda, but I thought these were the three you could benefit most from. I hope they helped!
Are you thinking about hiring an editor? Let me know in the comments below!
Good luck on all your writing ventures!
— J. L. Willow