This is going to be a very short blog post, but if this one simple truth was accepted by all authors, then the number of awkward manuscripts submitted and/or self-published would plummet. Are you ready?
No author can adequately edit their own work. None. Not one. Not ever.
Boom. There it is. Do you know why?
Because the author KNEW what they meant to say. They saw the scene clearly in their mind, and described it very well—or so they thought. But that’s because, they KNEW what they mean to say.
Here’s an example: in my first book, I said that the heroine took her baby into her bed to nurse. In my mind, I saw her lying on her side. All action from that point onward made sense.
However, my beta reader marked the passage and wrote: “If she’s leaning against the headboard, nursing the baby, how does …”
As confident as I was in my description of the scene—which was crystal clear, in my opinion—I had missed the mark completely. I left out a critical point because when I looked at the image in my mind it only played out one way. And I was wrong.
And the only way to find out I was wrong, was to have someone else read through the manuscript. As a matter of fact, twelve “someone elses” read through that manuscript before I hit “publish” on Amazon. And that wasn’t the only mistake that I missed, even though I combed through that book countless times over four years from first draft to published book.
Authors balk at having their work edited for two reasons:
- They don’t want anyone to tell them that their baby isn’t perfect.
- They don’t want to spend the money on a professional editor.
My response? THEN DO NOT PUBLISH. Obviously they don’t respect themselves, or their readers, enough to take the necessary steps to offer a quality product.
And there you go. That’s my best advice.