How do you turn a story from a frog, into a prince?
So many stories, and books, with huge potential fall, at the last post due to careless or non existent editing. Poor grammar, spelling mistakes, and inconsistencies in the plot add to their downfall. I’m as guilty as the next person, to some extent, as I have a problem with commas and similar sounding words, such as loath (reluctant) and loathe (to hate or despise). That said, I do try to learn from my mistakes and try not to repeat them.
Editing, whether self editing or hiring an editor, is essential. A piece of writing should ideally be groomed and polished as much as possible, until it gleams! I self edit, with the aid of a gem of a little tool, called Natural Free Reader. This, as the name implies, offers a free or paid version of an editing tool that reads your manuscript back to you, thus making it easier to spot errors.
But some writers are either too lazy, or too stubborn, to bother with editing. I remember a heated debate about this subject on the writers site, Authonomy. One young man had received more than one criticism about his poor spelling, plot holes, etc, and had started a thread on the forum, decrying, what he saw as, negative reviews. In reality the feedback was intended to help him improve his work, but he considered himself to be a writing genius, who was above such things. He stated that when, not if, he got a mainstream publisher, they would do all the editing for him. Unbelievable! Not only was this point of view breathtakingly arrogant, it’s an utter fallacy for the most part.
If a writer can’t be bothered submitting a pristine manuscript, a publisher will not read it. There are exceptions to this, of course. One bestselling novel, I won’t mention the title, but the subject is erotica, is apparently full of editing gaffes. Even so, there is no excuse not to offer the reading public the very best quality of writing.
So come on, fellow writers, turn those frogs into princes and be proud of your work. 😀