Editing. If you are a writer you know this 7-letter word all to well. Perhaps it should be called hacking, chopping, heart-breaking, or You Thought Your Book Was Perfect, NOT! I want to believe that all writers feel this way, especially the first time around. The editing of my first novel Redemption Road was a lesson in humility. I went though what I call the four stages of acceptance: Outright denial, measured acknowledgment of possible defects, reluctant realization that my work although good in a broad sense may have some serious flaws, and finally, complete surrender to the fact my novel needed to be re-written.
or You Thought Your Book Was Perfect, NOT!
We edited Redemption Road in 100 page blocks. I got my first block back as 21 pages. This was a head-in-hands, WTF, near sobbing moment, which quickly transgressed into, I have hired the wrong editor. Can I stop payment on the check? I must have read that 21 pages a hundred times and you know what? It was so much better. The thoughts and words were mine, just less of them. Over the next 5 months my 100 page blocks came back with more and more of me. The final result is, if I don’t say so myself, fantastic!
Even after the novel was edited, picked up by a publisher, re-edited then published there were still editing issues, mostly spelling and punctuation. So, 4 years after Redemption Road was published, I had it re-re-edited, and a revised addition re-released. Please check it out at my website.
The point is editing is never perfect. Find an editor who reads and enjoys the type of novel you have written, an editor who can improve YOUR voice, not CHANGE your voice, an editor who can make YOU a better writer. Read stuff your prospective editor has edited. Don’t shop based solely on price, this is perhaps the most critical monetary investment you will ever make in your work. There are databases where you can research editors; check out Book Editing I found mine.