Have you ever read a book (ebook or paper) and wished that you could edit the crap out of it? Be it bad grammar, sloppy consistency issues, switching perspectives from one character to the next in first person within a few paragraphs of each other (not switching chapters), somehow going from first person to third person and back again, jumping around in time so frequently it’s often hard to tell what’s going on and when … Stop me. I could go on and on. Usually, you see these with independently published books. Although, it’s not impossible to find a professionally published book with these same issues.
Well anyways, I actually read one of these today. And despite all that, I still enjoyed the story (once I finally got my bearings and figured out what was going on). Despite the love of the overall story, which was accomplished only after I DID get a grip on the story, a good editing job would have really sucked me in and made it much easier for me, and any other readers, to follow. I really shouldn’t have to sit and flip back through pages to make sure I was reading something correctly due to a lack of proper editing.
So now I’m at that awkward point where I’m not sure whether to say, “Well done!” or “Please let me edit your book!”
Hmm. Oh well.
The lesson here is simply to find a good editor, Boys and Girls. Even better, find several. They can be professional or they can be some of your friends, who have the ability to read objectively. Outsiders aren’t as engrossed in the story as you, the author, are. They’re more likely to catch what you missed and offer helpful solutions to your problems. They might even be able to say, “Hey. I didn’t understand this part here. Is there a way you can clarify this in the story?” Good editors DO make a difference. Their role is VERY important.