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An editor is one of the best and biggest choices you will make in your writing, at least if you plan to publish. They cost money. Sometimes lots of money. But this isn’t, or shouldn’t be, someone that just looks for missing periods and improper usage of their/there/they’re. There are several types of editors, copy, line, developmental. A copy editor will catch your typos and punctuation mistakes. A line editor makes sure you are staying in the correct tense, using the right language for your story as well as not changing styles, all at the line and paragraph level. A developmental editor is someone who work with to build an entire story or novel, who will call you out on overuse (or any use) of cliches, and can help you find a way over the top of a tall brick wall when you write yourself into a corner.
I’m doing¬†great with my latest work. At least I was. It was screaming along, building up to the climax, then as I was about to write a major pivotal sentence, paragraph, chapter, my fingers on the keyboard put in a twist I hadn’t even considered. This was about three weeks ago. Since then, the manuscript that had been flying from my brain came to a dead stop. I loved the twist. I didn’t want to lose it. But I couldn’t figure out the next step.
Today I had a great call with my editor. She’s read most of what I’ve¬†written in the project and knows the feel and is very familiar with it. We went over the plot details in place and why they worked and then the new twist. She was an incredible sounding board to bounce ideas off of and to tell me ‘that could work’ or ‘that sucks’ without ever trying to put her own ideas into it.
Two hours later I had the blueprint for the conclusion of the book, which includes the twist. I now have an outline for the endgame and can see the light at the end of the tunnel for the novel. It will be my fastest time to completion of the first draft as well as being my largest work yet.
So many independent authors say they don’t need an editor, can’t afford an editor, etc. The truth is, if you plan to release your book to the world and hope for anyone to buy it, you need an editor. It’s an expense that’s worth it. Nothing kills sales faster on Amazon than negative reviews about typos, bad grammar and a senseless plot, all things editors help you with.