About a day or so ago I received an interesting comment from winterbayne, you can check out her blog on http://winterbayne.wordpress.com/
It concerned my previous post and how, and this is how I take it, an editor can do a much better work than you, as a writer. While I do agree with that comment, I feel that in my reply I left some words unspoken and would like to address a couple of issues.
First of all the editor has much more experience than you can have as a writer, is much more objective, and much more professional. He or she knows everything there is to know, or almost everything, in order to produce a professional book that will appeal to the masses it’s targeted to. You simply cannot compare going the professional route and going the amateur, do it yourself route. Going after an editor is the way to go. But at the same time you have to realize that editors aren’t always in the right and can also make grave mistakes. You heard it before, those tales in which an author goes through several editors and publishers that reject him/her, only to have massive success with the one that accepted him/her. We’re all humans, we all make mistakes.
As you get more experience by writing more and more, you should also develop the knowledge that some stories are better than others and why that happens. Writing is mostly subjective, but you can still be objective and analyze your own works. It doesn’t happen overnight, and one needs to be down to earth and humble and at least a bit critic of himself. I think it’s all about the experience and how to gain more and improve yourself. My first true contact with publishers was with a print on demand thing that gave me nothing besides page space on their website. I had to do everything because, well, at the time I didn’t have a lot of money with me to invest in that sort of thing. They gave no advice, they taught nothing, I had to figure out everything. Because of that the book went nowhere. I gave them the finger and did nothing myself. The end result? We all lost.
If you want an editor, look around and get as much information as you can.
But what’s this about being objective?
It’s about being able to rate and dissect your works, if they are going to be successful or not. There’s a lot of guess-work involved and sometimes you make good decisions, sometimes terrible decisions. There are no perfect books. What you think is a great book might turn out to be average, and that’s ok, because you’ll learn from it, you’ll analyze it and why it didn’t get the rave reviews you expected. And while it’s a foggy road, extremely uncertain business, that’s what it is: business, as long as you give everything you’ve got towards that story you won’t walk away with nothing. Maybe I’m being overtly optimistic, but that’s how I truly feel. Somebody is going to appreciate all that effort and planning and work and study you put into your story. If it didn’t go as well as you hoped there’s always next time.
Have a nice day and see you tomorrow!