Importance of Editing

As I have heard from a wise individual (of whom I do not recall the name) about how not having your book edited before it is published is the equivalent of letting your child run outside without brushing their teeth, or never getting a haircut. A.K.A. It shouldn’t be done.

I have to completely agree with statement. Though I believe self-editing is important as a preliminary step, it is inevitable to overlook grammatical and other specific errors. It is automatic to fill in missing words, because the author knows what he or she is saying, that may actually be missing. How embarrassing would it be to have your book published with missing words and simple things like “the” spelled wrong? I even feel bad for authors when I see obvious grammatical mistakes (though I admit they are few). What really helps, is the revision of peers, though not just any peers. While it is helpful to have friends who are “being nice” revise your work, they probably aren’t going to sit down and dig through it word by word. Most likely they’ll notice you spelled “the” wrong, and pat you on the back with the rest. Finding individuals such as older siblings (who will actually try to make your work better), teachers, older students, or students of the same grade level who seem to be better versed in the realm of words. They can catch so many other mistakes such as “your audience doesn’t really know what you’re talking about though you assume they do” or “your pronouns are too vague? Do you mean to say that their heads went down the hill instead of the people themselves?” That last one was a mistake an older student found for me. It gave us quite a laugh, but if that had ever been published, yikes would I be embarrassed. I suppose that is why they say to never get published without proper editing. Outside, and at least somewhat credible opinions, can really help both the grammatical side of things, and the more abstract ideas that are really only noticed by people who aren’t familiar with what is already going on. It makes your work so much better! But remember to take criticism kindly. If you asked for it, don’t get mad because the reviser was honest. Publishers hate that. I know. I read their blog. (http://zlspublishing.com/blog/)

A great list on how to eliminate unnecessary words in your writing: http://alexisgrant.com/2010/12/13/self-editing-10-ways-to-tighten-your-copy/

 

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