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Thread: Self editing

  1. #11
    All those things are good, but there should always be a final edit by someone else. An author is too close to his own work to get it 100% right.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by iinadia View Post
    All those things are good, but there should always be a final edit by someone else. An author is too close to his own work to get it 100% right.
    Nah, lots of good writers do their own editing, especially in the Indie market.

    Editing isn't about making value judgements, its about finding and fixing technical mistakes, honing and polishing form, ensuring clarity. These are all technical matters that while some writers may not be capable of, others most certainly are.

    I agree that another pair of eyes on work and some critique is often a good idea prior to unleashing it to the public at large but that's a different thing to editing.
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  3. #13
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
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    I know people have varying opinions on such, but I was just recently recommended a book that I've found at least helpful, so far...

    Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, how to edit yourself into print, by Renni Browne and Dave King.

    I picked up a Kindle edition on Amazon for 15 bucks, and although I haven't gotten very far through it yet, it has been useful.

    I figure at very least, it's a bit more knowledge, and another perspective on the subject.



    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  4. #14
    Aside from the great tips already offered here, The Chicago Manual of Style is the go-to guide for (U.S.) editors these days. If you want the same reference that the professionals use when editing, there it is.

    I've also heard good things about The Copyeditor’s Handbook by Amy Einsohn (supposedly a more do-it-yourself, user-friendly approach than consulting the CMoS), but I personally haven't read it.

  5. #15
    Self-editing is fine if you have any idea how to edit but there are a lot of people out there who honestly aren't very well versed in language or grammar or plot or flow, who get to the end and still haven't produced a publishable work because they lack the skills necessary to edit properly. You have to know what you're going for in the end product and if you don't, then how can you expect to get there?

  6. #16
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    ...there are a lot of people out there who honestly aren't very well versed in language or grammar or plot or flow, who get to the end and still haven't produced a publishable work because they lack the skills necessary to edit properly.
    ...which means they need basic education and training before they even try writing, and end up wasting their time, ultimately giving up in frustration because they aren't prepared for even the practice it takes to get better.

    "Practice makes perfect" doesn't work if you're practicing the wrong thing and don't know it.


    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    ...which means they need basic education and training before they even try writing, and end up wasting their time, ultimately giving up in frustration because they aren't prepared for even the practice it takes to get better.

    "Practice makes perfect" doesn't work if you're practicing the wrong thing and don't know it.


    G.D.
    I would agree with the last, but not the first. Anyone literate can start writing, they have read things, they have some idea. Yes they will get things wrong, but that is where the education begins, because not everybody gets the same things wrong. If they write something and get a decent bit of crit two things can happen though, the next thing they write may benefit from that crit. and the next thing they read may illustrate a different aspect of it, opening even more doors. Then, of course, even if they have written poorly in some way in the past, they still have something to edit, it will contain something worthwhile, editing is isolating it and making it shine, like a diamond taken rough from the earth, then cut and polished. Practice is usually with a trainer of some sort, their job is not just to tell you what to aim for, but why you are failing to hit.
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  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    ...which means they need basic education and training before they even try writing, and end up wasting their time, ultimately giving up in frustration because they aren't prepared for even the practice it takes to get better.

    "Practice makes perfect" doesn't work if you're practicing the wrong thing and don't know it.
    The two are not necessarily connected. Coming up with ideas, putting them on "paper", that's something most people can do. Turning those ideas into something anyone would be willing to pay for, that's something different. Some people can be skilled at the former but will never be successful with the latter. That's why editors exist, but editors need to be paid. People need to find someone who can edit, whether it's themselves or a friend or someone they pay. Otherwise, they'll forever have stories that nobody wants to read.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    I would agree with the last, but not the first. Anyone literate can start writing, they have read things, they have some idea. Yes they will get things wrong, but that is where the education begins, because not everybody gets the same things wrong.
    I don't think we're that far off, Olly...

    What I'm saying is if that a person is 'literate', then they have sufficient command of language or grammar to get the job done.

    And if they have read things, and understood how they're put together, and can make sense of what's been done... then they should have enough information to emulate that and go from there.

    Now, if English ( or whatever language they're going to write in ) is a second or third language, then they need to get that right, and understood, before continuing.

    A literate person can manage rudimentary writing, and can take that and expand on it.

    But if you're having to learn the language and learn to write in it at the same time... you're gonna reach saturation/overload levels pretty quick.

    ...at least in my opinion.


    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    The two are not necessarily connected. Coming up with ideas, putting them on "paper", that's something most people can do. Turning those ideas into something anyone would be willing to pay for, that's something different.
    And now you've just gone from writing to being published... which is two entirely different problems/tasks.

    As far as coming up with ideas... Why do threads keep popping up along the lines of "I need ideas to write about!"?

    Honestly, it seems to me you're talking about the difference between writing, and making a living at writing.

    Not the same thing.



    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

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