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Self editing : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Self editing

Frequently asked questions. Go HERE and read the first thread.
Angelwrite
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Self editing

Postby Angelwrite » Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:45 pm

Hello, I am new here and I have a question about editing: Is self editing a good idea and if not why? I have heard both sides to this and it seems some writers disagree with some content that is suggested be edited out of their story. It's like seeing scenes that have been cut from a movie that most people feel would have made the movie funnier, more interesting, etc.. I would appreciate any input on this topic. :idea:

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shadowwalker
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Re: Self editing

Postby shadowwalker » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:05 pm

I'm a bit confused - are you talking about self-editing or are you talking about when/if to take advice offered in a critique or by a publisher's editor?
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Self editing

Postby James A. Ritchie » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:47 pm

I'm not sure what you mean, either. You need to self-edit the heck out of a book before submitting it anywhere. When you sell a book, the content must be edited by the editor who works for the publisher. It's need to be edited for typos and the like, but it also needs to be edited for length and content. Sometimes changes are non-existent, and sometimes they're drastic, and demand a complete rewrite or revision.

As the writer, you always have the choice of saying no to editorial changes, though editors are right at least eighty percent of the time. The editor's sole job is to make your book better. They usually do exactly this. A lot of writers out there think they know best, but this is rarely the case. Writers fall in love with scenes, even when those scenes have no importance, and should be cut.

But as I said, you can always say no.

Angelwrite
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Re: Self editing

Postby Angelwrite » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:55 pm

Thank you so much for the information. I am a new writer and I am trying to get as much information as I can. I just needed a little clarity on how editors work.

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DrG2
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Re: Self editing

Postby DrG2 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:28 pm

If I had unlimited money, and found an editor that I trusted, I would hire them to edit everything I write, and I'd start with the first draft I felt happy about sharing with someone.

I don't have unlimited money.

Most writers don't.

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mammamaia
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Re: Self editing

Postby mammamaia » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:32 am

ALL 6 e-book collections of my work are FREE...email me with "want free books" in subject line and include a message.

FREE writing help/mentoring: http://www.saysmom.com

"You must BE the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

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onceuponwednesday
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Re: Self editing

Postby onceuponwednesday » Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:48 am

The Rule of Three

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Self editing

Postby James A. Ritchie » Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:56 am


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DrG2
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Re: Self editing

Postby DrG2 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:08 pm

I could count on an editor to find that "it's it"s error I passed by on three readthroughs. IF I sold so many copies I could afford it, it would be a good use of my time (which would be spent writing a first draft of something else).

this is purely hypothetical.

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MookyMcD
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Re: Self editing

Postby MookyMcD » Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:15 pm

I think some confusion on this thread is attributable to different people using different definitions of "editing." The types of errors in G2's post fall into the proofreading category, which is not what I believe Maia and James are talking about, so there are two entirely different conversations going on.

I still don't know that I'd bother paying someone to line edit or proofread anything before I was ready to submit it, though. And I basically get that service for free (one of my CPs a line editor 8 hours a day, and takes great joy in pointing out the slightest mistakes in my MS).

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