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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Guest Post: How to Revise a Manuscript


Today I have a syndicated guest post for you by Janine Savage from the excellent Write Divas blog.

In her article below, Janine sets out step-by-step advice for authors once they have completed the first draft of their novel...

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Divas on Writing: How to Revise a Manuscript (via http://writedivas.com)
How to Revise a Manuscript   Congratulations! You’ve completed your novel. All the words are out of your head and typed up neatly in your word processing program. So by show of hands, how many of you then send it to the proofreader, editor, or bestie…


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Thank you to Janine for a thought-provoking article. I do agree with most of the points she makes.

Although not everyone will agree with me, I have reservations about the idea that it is automatically necessary to hire an editor. For one thing, finding a good editor is by no means easy, and they don't come cheap either.

Yes, in an ideal world, every author would have a good editor for their book, but new authors need to consider carefully how cost-effective this is likely to be, and be sure that if they do hire one they are competent and capable. There is, I'm afraid to say, no shortage of self-styled freelance editors who are happy to take your money but can't deliver the service promised.

I would always say, get feedback on your work from a forum such as myWritersCircle.com, which is (of course) free of charge. And take the time to polish up your English - maybe using courses such as my own Essential English for Authors - so you don't have to rely on an editor to correct any howlers for you.

If you can afford editorial help by all means get it, but be sure it's from someone who really will be able to 'add value' to your book. Don't feel that hiring an editor is somehow compulsory, though.

If you have any comments or questions about this article, as ever, please feel free to post them below.

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2 Comments:

OpenID sallyjenkins said...

Thanks for this, Nick & Janine. I'm in two minds about the editor thing too - mainly because of the cost. However I'd be very nervous about self-publishing a full-length novel that had had no editorial input. Mainly because if I'm going to try and sell hard copies of the book (especially to people I know) I want to be sure that it has merit. But I do know the price tag on professional help is high ...

7:25 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Thanks for your comment, Sally. It's a decision every author has to make for him/herself, and it's not an easy one. Personally, while I can see many benefits to having a (good) editor, I believe it is wrong for anyone to imply that hiring an editor is compulsory. I know several self-publishing authors who have achieved very good results without doing this.

8:19 PM  

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