Lason, My First Book
Based on my experience there are two main types of edits. One is a content
edit. This is where someone will read your story and check it for continuity
and plausibility. The other is a technical edit. This is a spelling and
I got both of these as a packaged deal from a source on-line. Shop around –
Google is your friend. I got the content edit and spent over a year doing
rewriting before I got the technical edit.
Was it worth it? Yes, I was/am a clueless newb. My story was always solid,
but I couldn't write. Even now, with one book done, if I wrote another I
would still do both edits.
When I got the book back for the content edit I was angry and very
disappointed in myself. I thought most of the "suggestions" were wrong and
would kill the story. It took me a while to come to terms with it. I had to
learn a couple of hard lessons, which is expected when you do something this
complex with no training.
First, I paid someone to find problems. Don't take it personally – all they
did was their job. They don't tell you if they like it or not so it feels
very negative, but if you read what they wrote, you start to understand that
they are just trying to help.
Second, if they don't understand it, then nether will your readers. You don't
have to change the story – you just have to do a much better job of writing
it. For example, you can add one line early in the book that will plant
something in the head of the reader, which later on will make something
awkward work. In my case, I originally never put the age of the main
character in the story. The editor assumed he was much older than he really
was. I added it to the first part, and it nullified his concerns much later
in the book. Eighty percent of the time writing a book is re-writing it over
and over. At first I fought changes, but then I learned that is what writing
So you have to re-write it over and over while still preserving the feelings,
emotions, and characters’ personalities and without getting burned out.
Sometimes you need to walk away for a while and come back to it. Just be
careful, or it will never be completed.