Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It's Not Your Job

Source Unknown
I do my best to support my fellow Caribbean authors, so when I came across a new book by an author from the region I looked for it on Amazon and took a "Look Inside". I did this because although I am a self-published author and wholly support self-publishing, I am painfully aware of the wide variety in quality that is out there.

So I looked inside and the first sentence of the first chapter went something like this:

"They soon discovered how similar their life experiences were when their eyes collided ..."

Now, if you are a writer and you don't know the main thing that's wrong with that sentence (because there is more than one issue), it's quite okay. It's not your job to know. It's your job to send your manuscript to someone who knows that eyes shouldn't collide unless it's a science fiction novel or your protagonists have just undergone a very unusual and unimaginably painful surgical procedure.

It's not enough for your subjects and verbs to agree. Hire a good editor to find the fine points, the run-on sentences, the subtle errors, the inconsistencies and it will pay off in the end. Even if you're trained in editing, hire someone because you are probably too close to your work to edit it objectively.


Liane Spicer said...

I don't understand why so many independent publishers don't get the importance of pro editing. I've given up on countless books because of the errors on the very first page.

Charles Gramlich said...

Yeah, that would be a bit tough to get past