Tactical Tuesday: Advice for Self Editing

Why is self-editing important to an author?

Have you ever wondered why some athletes excel and others don't make the cut? Why one vocalist wins the audition and garners the prized solo? What about the chef who takes the prize for the winning recipe? One word separates the winner: Advantage.

Some will look at that word, and they'll instantly think of someone who knows someone who can land them a job or a coveted award. Not so. Often the advantage goes to the one who is most prepared, who exhibits an ability far above the others.

Learning to self edit your prose gives the writer an advantage. As with the athlete who must cross the finish line, the soloist who must also make an outstanding stage presence, or the chef who must create a dish beyond the expectations of those who will judge, a writer must also have a story that leads the reader to turn page after page, not wanting to set the book down until the very last sentence.

On a very few occasions, a well-written story is enough. However, the truth is, what constitutes a well-written story for one industry professional may not be the same for another. The author's biggest advantage is a well-edited manuscript backed up by a story that contains all of the elements that move a story forward.

There is a myth that well-known authors do not have to present a strong proposal or manuscript. Someone has to edit the story, whether it's the author, a paid freelance editor, or a publisher's in-house editor. Even if an author hires someone to correct their mistakes before sending off a manuscript, the advantage still remains with the author who knows how to self-edit.

Until next time, happy editing.


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