Some writers thrive on their editing skills. Others, like myself learn as they go. One of my good author friends will work on a single page for an entire day. Why? He edits as he writes. He won't leave that page until it is perfect. I am personally the opposite. I write an entire chapter or several chapters before I go back and edit. I don't like interrupting the process. Especially when I am in "write mode".
In the end it doesn't really matter when you edit or even how. What matters is that you edit. Your book should literally be edited three times by yourself or ideally by another person as well before you even submit it to an editor. That is how important editing is in the literary world.
Notice I said when you send it to an editor, not if. If you want to get your book traditionally published by submitting it to an agent or publisher, getting it professionally edited is a must! I learned that the hard way. If you are getting a lot of rejections with no explanation or a lot of "cookie cutter" rejection letters (form rejections) you may want to consider taking another look at your editing or apply for an editor. Unlike popular belief, publishers and especially agents will not edit it for you. That is your job. If you can't afford a super great editor (I have been there), find a friend in your life who is an English major, or an English teacher, or who has the time and energy to dedicate to researching and learning the proper ways to edit a book. It goes without saying that you will be doing the majority of the work. It is your baby after all. Take a class on book editing. Check a book out from the library. Buy a book you can highlight in. Just get started!
I will be honest, I am a bit of a hypocrite here. I loathe editing. I am not good at it at all. I homeschool, am a stay at home mom of two children, work part time, and run the house completely on my own. In other words, I have limited time and energy to dedicate to learning how to edit myself. However, that means that I have to pay someone else to do it for me. Either way it has to get done!
Here are some great websites to get you started:
About Brea Behn
Brea Behn has been writing since the age of fifteen when she began a memoir for her twin brother. She currently writes YA fiction and non-fiction. Her first book, a YA dystopian novel, will be available this month.
When she is not reading or writing, Brea enjoys art, movies, plays, and gardening. She is passionate about natural and organic cooking, cleaning, and health.
Brea, her husband, and their two children live in rural Wisconsin.
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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