I’ve mentioned a few of my mistakes along this road to publishing. The first, self-doubt and the consequence of hiding my work for so long. Second, querying too soon. As aspiring authors, we all fall victim to this one. I’ve completed this awesome manuscript and now I want to put it out for publication, only after several rejection letters, I realize…it was not ready.
Recently, I did something I wish I had done the minute I had finished my re-writes and my edits. I hired an EDITOR. I know! I actually paid someone to edit my draft. She was a friend who edits for a magazine and I knew she was a stickler for detail.
Anyways, she looked over my work, at a reduced rate (thank goodness!) and boy was I shocked. RED INK everywhere. This is most likely one of my major pitfalls of querying too soon. I’m sure every editor and agent took one look at all my mistakes and shuffled my query to the side faster than a dog walker trying to avoid dog poop.
Now, before you start rushing out to hire someone to “fix” your work, keep this in mind. Editors are like anyone else, they have opinions, likes/dislikes, and strong conviction. Trust your instincts when it comes to their suggestions. My editor concentrated mostly on grammar, punctuation, sentence structure. She didn’t offer too much in the way of story structure, character development, or plot. She did mention a few things to look at and I took them to heart. If you are sensitive to critique I recommend taking it with a grain of salt (and maybe a tequila and lime).
I feel much more confident in sharing my work, now that I know it isn’t making all those “english types” cringe at the sight of my dangling participles and mixed metaphors.