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Brenda Hill 

  Book Editing Services

           Author * Editor * Writing Coach

Don't Make This Mistake

A big mistake many new writers make is hiring someone other than a book editor to edit their manuscripts. One client couldn't understand why she kept receiving rejections after her aunt had edited for her.

"After all," she said, "Aunt Helen taught English for twenty years, so who could be better? And the price was right. Free."

She felt happy about the arrangement — until the rejections poured in. 

The problem was, while her aunt may know proper sentence structure and word usage, she did NOT know about a POV drift, or when it's appropriate to include Backstory - or not. Or how to offer suggestions when the writer hadn't incorporated the two basic standards of novel writing: Show, don't Tell, and The Hook.

Did Aunt Helen know what an opening chapter MUST include?

And Dialogue. Did Aunt Helen know that writing dialogue isn't the same as writing an essay for English class?

So don't make the same mistake. I may not be the best editor for you, but if you want your manuscript to have a chance, don't get Aunt Helen, Uncle Bob, or Crissy from down the block to edit for you. Don't turn them down if they offer to read for you; they may all offer invaluable suggestions. Anyone who reads can tell you when a paragraph or page doesn't make sense. So listen and consider taking their advice.

But when it's time to get serious about getting your manuscript in shape, hire someone who knows fiction techniques.

Hire a BOOK editor to EDIT your book.


What Aunt Helen CAN do:

Copy/line editing

The following paragraphs passed a computer's word processing spelling & grammar check.

But are they correct?

Tom stood by his mailbox, scanning the dirt rode for the first sign of the male truck. Would it come today? Would long-waited letter of expectance arrive?

On won hand, he wanted to sea it, was anxious for any contact with the agent he'd chosen. He had also heard at writers conferences that when agent is interested inn a writers work, they'd call. Since they hadn't, he could only hope he was the acceptation, that perhaps the agency was to busy.

So he waited bye the mailbox, hoping, yet dreading to sea the letter.

We write and we rewrite, often a dozen times or more. At that point, typos and errors fade into oblivion because our brain helps us by supplying the correct word, or we memorize the text, which is fine until we change a sentence or cut and paste and unknowingly omit a word or sentence. Or perhaps we've gone over it so many time we're no longer objective.

That's a mistake professional writers can't afford to make.

A reader, if enjoying the story, will forgive one or possibly two typos. But they're noticed. If the reader sees more error, the mood shatters and trust in the author is lost.

That's why we need editors. After all, once our book is published, our baby is out there for the world to see.

Let's make sure the diaper is clean.