If you’re an aspiring writer and you’ve explored options for working with a developmental editor, or a story coach, or any of the other titles people give someone who is going to help you scrub and polish and tweak and twist your story into decent shape, you’ve probably experienced sticker shock. I know I have.
However. I’ve done a bit of editing myself, and this I know for certain: it’s hard work, and it takes a lot of time. And a good editor, someone who really helps you dig through and see the weak points in your work, is worth her weight in gold. If I could afford to, I’d hire an editor every time I finished a manuscript to the point where I think it’s almost ready to submit. I’ve been fortunate to have wonderful editors to work with at publishing houses, but that’s after a book has been sold.
Not everything editors suggest makes it into the next draft, but that doesn’t matter. A good editor helps you get outside of your own head and see the manuscript through different eyes. I would say with few exceptions that if you aspire to be published and have the money to get a good editor, someone legitimate who has a reputation as a professional, your money won’t be wasted. (Caveat: not a guarantee, an opinion.)
For most of us who can’t afford a good editor out of our own pockets, there are books on craft. Many. Many of them excellent.
That will be my next post, sharing a few of my favorites.
Now, back to my WIP.