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Is your writing good enough? Editor's Notes #112
December 15, 2011
Hello,

[A less experienced editor] will say "no" to a manuscript
because it's not very good,
whereas we will read a manuscript for what it could be.

-- Mary Schendlinger


In this issue:

1. How good is good enough?
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site

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1. How good is good enough?
How good is good enough? Depends. Are you talking heart surgery or slicing carrots for lunch?

I'm talking here about how good your writing should be before you submit it to an editor.

Perhaps thinking about your own writing through the lenses below will help you to focus on where to spend time on improvements.

  • Something to say
    Without something to say, you are dead in the water. Only you know what you want to say. It's unlikely anyone can provide this for you, so this is crucial.

  • Clear structure
    It's best to start with good bones.

  • Unique voice
    Publishers love a distinctive voice. You have your own way of writing.

  • Clean copy
    The editor you submit to must understand your intent.


Here's what the editor can do for you in each case.

  • Something to say
    The editor tells you what message the reader receives. If it's not what you meant to say, you work with the editor to clarify your message.

  • Clear structure
    The editor points out the clutter so you can clear it. The editor also suggests alternate arrangements to sharpen the focus.

  • Unique voice
    A good editor points out when you slip out of your distinct voice. Sometimes the editor suggests you change some aspect of your voice if that will help you to achieve your goal. Some writers are afraid that the editor will over-ride their voice. Good editors know how important voice is and work to help you to strengthen your own voice.

  • Clean copy
    If you turn in a really clean copy, you should pay less for your editing, so even though an editor can fix grammar and typos, I recommend that your copy be as clean as possible before you hand it over.


Finally, your writing should always be as good as it can be because it represents you to the world. If you submit to a traditional publisher, you need your writing to be high quality because it is in competition with hundreds of other projects. Your brilliant idea is most important. Show it off with a unique voice set in a clear structure with an error-free manuscript. A good publisher asks an editor to work with you to improve what you've done. If you self-publish, it's up to you to find the right editor to make your best work even better.

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2.Tickled my funnybone
 Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

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3. Interesting Web site
Moments of brain freeze or writers' block come to all of us. When one hits you, check out this haiku generator. The combinations of words may jumpstart your thinking -- and even if they don't, they will create some intriguing mental images.
http://www.everypoet.com/haiku/default.htm

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Do you have writing that is as good as you can make it? A sample edit shows you how much better it can be. Submit your writing to get professional help in making the next round of improvements. http://www.writershelper.com/sample-edit.html

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For more interaction with me and other writers (and links to written bloopers that will make you laugh out loud), join Writer's Helper Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WritersHelperEditor

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