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Editing (For Others)

            This is more rant oriented, but certainly helpful. Anyway, notice this is tilted editing for others and why is that? Well, I enjoy editing for others. I edit other people’s things from time to time on forums and while I have some major pet peeves about editing in general because we writers are nitpicks, all with our own opinions on how a story should go and what the characters should do. So a writer will never satisfy everyone and that’s okay

            But (Yes! Always a but!) when everyone is saying the same thing about your writing, it’s something to take heed and I honestly get tired of the know-it-all writers who think they know everything (that was a redundant by the way, but who cares. I’m ranting) and don’t want to listen to people who know what they’re talking about. I mean, I feel like a broke record sometimes. I say the same thing to writers. Start where the story begins. This long passage of explaining is an info-dump. A query is not a synopsis, therefore I don’t need to know that the three chapters before the inciting incident is about your MC in your day to day life, moving to a new city and meeting the bullies of her neighborhood who in no way shape or form propel the story forward if the story is a fantasy and the fantasy doesn’t start until chapter four, and if that does happen in your story, you need to start thinking about cutting those first three chapters because that’s the kiss of death when the agent or editor wants the first three chapters to see if you can write.

            The veteran writers out there know exactly what I’m talking about. You tell the person all these things and the writer won’t listen. Then a few months later they want to come and ask what the heck they’re doing wrong because apparently none of the agents or editors want to see their work… It always takes everything in me not to say “God damn it! I told you why before you even started trying to sell the darn manuscript.”

            My point in this rant? While it is up to the discretion of the writer to take advice or not, some advice, especially when it has to do with believability, structure and all that jazz, because let’s face it, sometimes we have to cut the stuff near and dear to us in order to make the novel work. So I say a 65-75 percentile is what you shoot for in range of likeability and the ok, because not everyone will like the way you writer, so don’t worry about the other 25-35 percent. But when the majority is saying, something’s wrong. I’m telling you to pay attention. Ugh! These cocky writers get on my nerve sometimes…

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