Monday, September 22, 2014

Want to be a better writer? Hire an editor.

This weekend, I finished the final edits on my current WIP with the help of my new editor. During the process, I learned so much about what I do right and what I do wrong. All of it, even the realization that I have a serious aversion to the comma, was amazing.

The process of sending your baby off to be judged by a professional editor can be scary. We all doubt ourselves and fear that someone will come along and say, "You suck. You're terrible. Find another passion." But I am here to tell you that as a newbie writer, my editor's suggestions and corrections are pearls of wisdom and I'm soaking them all up like a sponge.

Maybe I'm lucky. I have heard that the relationship between writer and editor can be a tough one. I think, if you find the right person, someone who encourages you, someone who is there to help you succeed, then having an editor can only make you a better writer.

What are the different types of editors and what do they do? Read this article. It explains it all and just happens to be written by my new editor.

Here are some of the things I've learned about myself:
It's okay, not ok.
The comma, in compound sentences, still confuses me.
The word "just" tends to be a crutch.
Numbers under 100 should be spelled out.
If you have described something in dialogue, you don't also need to describe it in the narrative.
Repeating the same words, in the same sentence, or same paragraph, sounds awkward.
When writing dialogue in contemporary fiction, it's better to use contractions.

The way I see it, this is a learning process. I have always been the type of person who wants to be the best at whatever I attempt. A barista at a coffee house or an office executive - I've been both. And in each and every job I've ever had, I've always wanted to be the best.

Now with art, and writing is an art, there is no such thing as the best. People may argue, but writing, like any art, is subjective.

do want to be the best writer I can be and that means constantly growing. I don't want the first book I ever write to be my masterpiece, I want the last book I ever write to by my masterpiece. I want to learn and reach and improve with each work I create.

I love my editor and value my editor and thank the stars I have found her, because she is going to help me become a better writer. I anxiously await her comments and suggestions. Yes, I am editing.
In the words of one of my favorite characters, I'm ready!

You can find me at


  1. I'm also addicted to using 'just' but I didn't realise it until I read your post! Thanks.

    1. Also using "so" or "I mean" in dialogue. That one gets me. Thanks for reading :)