WHY A WRITER NEEDS AN EDITOR?
I had often wondered, why writing a novel and publishing it, is not as easy as dreaming about it. That’s a tediously long process, where you are expected to write a heart touching or sometimes a heart-breaking plot, in a way that it could be enjoyed by readers who pick it. Spelling, grammatical, punctuation errors, a blunt start, disordered chapters, and many such monsters won’t leave your readers ‘enjoying’ your book. That creates a seriously ‘bad’ impression. But don’t worry, there are professionals, who know the trick of finding such monsters and getting rid of them. We call them ‘Editors’.
LET’S IMAGINE A LITTLE…
Just imagine- a well packed parcel is delivered at your doorstep, not containing some random books, but your own newly published one. (Woah… can’t wait… can’t wait!!) You can’t feel your legs (of course, you feel like flying), for something you have been waiting for more than a week has arrived at last- Author Copies!
A dream that you have etched in your heart is finally realized. Your hands shiver a bit in excitement as you unwrap the parcel. (Meanwhile ranting why they have used too many tapes over it!) Slowly, you hold your dream book with immense love and happiness, more like a mother handed with her baby for the first time. How does it feel? Eternal bliss! I swear, two drops of tears (or even more) would escape out of your eyes, the moment you see it for the first time. It’s a ‘forever dream come true’ moment. Isn’t it blissful?
Now imagine, you are opening a random page to check out the formatting of the book and end up reading it aloud. “They has to go to the beach to find the first hidden secret of magic.” Oops! A very silly grammatical error- that too in subject-verb agreement! Arghh! This should not have happened. Hadn’t you read the draft a 1000 times before you published it? How come you left it without notice? A sudden fall of confidence. This is exactly why writers need editors.
WE CAN’T ALWAYS FIND OUR MISTAKES
Things are not simpler as they seem. Why do we lose marks though we know all the answers? Why do sometimes our food tastes bad, though we used the same ingredients as the chef in the YouTube video did? I had always had these doubts, but the truth is that we are not professionals, and we tend to make mistakes that we can’t even recognize. Have you ever made careless mistakes and regretted for doing it? If yes, then I need not tell you why writers need editors. That’s simple as that- We can’t always find our own mistakes.
Though we read our manuscript hundreds of times before publishing, we tend not to notice a few ‘silly’ errors that readers would easily point out. That is not a good thing. Who knows, the reader might end up leaving a review, stating how many errors he/she found in the book. Which in turn will create a bad impression for people, who decide to buy your book, then notice the negative review. Here’s where an editor plays a crucial role.
WE DON’T KNOW WHERE EXACTLY WE UNDER-PERFORM
When I read some books, I feel like they hadn’t organized the story in an effective way. Sometimes, I feel like the author himself doesn’t understand the protagonist well. We expect good character sketches, a well plotted story, some edible passages to highlight (our brains are hungry!), and a lot more. As an author, you might sometimes fail to understand where you under-perform. You might have always thought you have included a scene (or a clue that connects in the end), which you later find you missed out. Your brain knows your story well. How will it find the error? And so you require someone outside to read your book and tell you the parts that you unconsciously perform lower than the rest. An editor is a skilled professional who helps weed out these errors and polishes the script.
OUR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES ARE NOT PROFESSIONALS
Why do we prefer to go to a restaurant, when we could cook at home? The reason is simple- we are not professionals and we could nowhere compare ourselves with professionals. It’s okay to give your Arc to your friends or relatives to beta read. It’s okay to provide a copy to your friend who proofreads well. But when it comes to editing, do the best to your book. Hand it over to an editor, who owns your trust. There are different kinds of editing, and if you don’t have a clear knowledge about the types, then head to my previous blog post where I talked about ‘TYPES OF EDITING’. Remember, your friends and relatives are not professionals to alter your book. Your book deserves a better result.
Beginners used to make this mistake- they skip the process of editing. But remember, no great things are simpler as they seem. I ain’t an editor, who promotes this; but an author, who has learnt everything a bit later. I don’t want you to feel the same. Mistakes are common but don’t let them put your head down. The day the book reaches your hand should make you happy rather than feel bad, for you have skipped the process of refining your words. YOU CAN’T RISK THE END RESULT! Because your book is not just a collection of papers, it is YOUR DREAM!
Dharani Kannan. Connect with me here.