After I decided to become a writer, I realized that I would need an editor to ensure that my work was critiqued and improved upon. As many other writers know, finding an editor who will make the type of grammatical and structural changes that you want can be difficult to do. However, it can be done. Several months ago, I found an editor whose thoughtful comments and constructive criticism were greatly appreciated. Her critiques helped me make the final revisions to my work and I am happy to note that my new collection of short stories should be coming out soon. In recognizing how rewarding it can be to work with a great editor, I want to ensure that other writers have this opportunity as well. Here are three things you should look for in an editor:
Although an editor’s education and experience are not fool-proof measures you can examine in order to determine whether or not they’re the right person to critique your work, credentials are definitely a qualifying factor. Editors who hold a degree in English are likely to understand the nuances of language in a manner that enables them to make significant linguistic and syntactical improvements upon your work. Additionally, editors who have attained on-going education or certifications for editing will likely be able to handle your manuscript with the care and excellence you want.
Although you don’t have to have a great working relationship with your editor, building rapport with him or her is a great idea. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that developing a positive and somewhat personal relationship with editors can cause them to become deeply invested in your work. Once this happens, you will likely get the detailed revisions and suggestions that you’ve been looking for. Moreover, developing a positive relationship with anyone can make your day brighter and more interesting and thereby cause your own work life to be affected for the better.
Earlier, I mentioned the importance of looking into the credentials of an editor before hiring him or her. Although credentials can say a lot, skill says more. For this reason, it would be prudent for you to request feedback from individuals who have used the services of the editor you’re considering. Ask specific questions such as whether they really caught and corrected the majority of the grammatical errors you missed and whether they returned your manuscript on time.
Writing a book is a formidable endeavor, but editing the work such that it is flawless may be an even more daunting task. With this thought in mind, writers seeking the services of an editor should be sure to pick the cream of the crop. By following the strategies I’ve listed above, you can realize this goal. Good luck!
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Three Tips to Getting the Best Editor for You
Jocelyn Crawley is a 29-year-old college student currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity degree in preparation to become a pastor. While her writing interests are diverse, topics of intrigue include politics, history, literature, and religion. She holds B.A. degrees in English and Religious Studies. Her work has appeared in Jerry Jazz Musician, Nailpolish Stories, Visceral Uterus, Dead Beats, The Idiom, Thrice Fiction, Four and Twenty, Kalyani Magazine and Haggard and Halloo. Other stories are forthcoming in Faces of Feminism and Calliope.