To edit or to have someone else do it that is the question?

Today I have started editing my novel The Lytes of Sand00 (working title) which I have alluded to in my past blogs. It is a fantasy novel based on the myth of the Sandman and has a sci-fi undertone. It is mainly targeted at young adults although technically it could possibly just squeak under the radar for mid grade. I finished it just over a year ago. I had come to love the world and the characters in it so much that when I completed it I started right away working on book number 2. It is the only extensive piece of writing I have ever let anyone else read. I must say that one person loved it but it was my mother so we all know her opinion doesn’t count.

I once had read somewhere that a writer should let a novel sit for a while before even attempting to edit it. This gives the writer a chance to look at it with fresh eyes. I usually don’t let my writing sit for more than a few days or a couple of weeks at most but I have let this sit for several months. That is probably a good thing.

I have started out by spell checking the entire novel again and was surprised to find at least a half-dozen errors. I have no idea why the spell checker didn’t find them before. I am now rereading it for the general continuity of the plot and seeing how it flows.

I am sure everyone has different methods for editing their writing and I am genuinely interested in hearing them. As a former teacher I obviously edited many of my student’s pieces and I look over the writing of others on a regular basis. I have no trouble doing this and am quite good at it but I find it very difficult to edit my work. Even the short articles I have written for local publications through my work have caused me a some stress when it came down to editing them.

I am curious, how many of you edit yourselves and how many actually seek out a professional editor? What do you feel are the pros and cons to both?


About Billie Jo Schinnerer

Born and raised on the edge of the Helderberg Escarpment in eastern New York. Formerly a primary and middle school teacher. Moved to the North West area of England in 2003. Now a mother of three and a wannabe author.
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2 Responses to To edit or to have someone else do it that is the question?

  1. I edit as much of my novel as I can myself, but in the end I usually ask my dad and my sister for some feedback since I know my grammar is not the best in the world. I’m also getting feedback on my novel from a critique group.

    I really liked the flashfiction you did for your novel, and I really think you have a unique idea. Let me know when you do get it published, and I’ll definitely read it! 🙂

  2. usaukwoods says:

    You are lucky to have your dad and sister to help. I would love to go to a critique group! There is one that meets at my local library every other week but it is at 10:30 on a Friday when I am at work so unfortunately I have never been able to go.

    Thank you for the support. I hope it will get published someday as it is one of my favourite pieces of writing that I have done. I love writing fantasy!

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