That Moment You Realize You Need An Editor


Not long ago, I wrote about how I took a little break from the grind of novel writing, (see The Not-So-Dry Spell). It’s funny how talking about a break instantly leads to a strong desire to jump right back into to fray. All it takes is one person to come around and ask, “What ever happened to you novel?”

Hmmm. That’s a good question. Part of my little break was rooted in needing to clear my head, but there was also an element of the “now what” syndrome. I’d sent out a round of query packages and got responses from all of them. Sure, they were all rejections, but as most writers know a response of any kind is a victory.

I was proud of my tiny accomplishment, but I also realized I had an issue that wasn’t easily solved. The fact that I got responses from agents told me I had a good concept for my novel, but the rejection element told me I had more work to do. The problem was I had gone as far I could on my own. I was too close to the work and I couldn’t see past what was going on inside my head. It’s in that moment that a writer has a major epiphany:

I need an editor.

After doing a little research online, I gathered a nice collection on editors who offered various services including proofreading and developmental edits. There are a lot of great editors out there, but it’s almost impossible to figure out who would be the right person for the job. Trying to find a YA fantasy editor is a little bit like trying to find one particular grain of salt in a salt mine.

Then, there’s the issue of price. Editors are not cheap and I totally understand why. Combing through a writer’s passion project is no easy task! Given my limited means, I couldn’t afford most of services I needed, so I decided to try something else.

If you follow my Facebook Author Page, you might have noticed a post where I made my plea:


Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 5.14.45 PM To my great surprise someone answered me! What’s more, I knew her! And she loves YA Fantasy! It turns out one of my first blog followers does editing on the side. I was familiar with her work as one of her jobs was sitting on my bookshelf. She had done some editing work for another blogging friend and novelist, Bonnie J. James, so I knew I could trust her. Plus, I’ve had a number of interactions with her over the last few years, all of which have been incredibly positive and friendly.

Within a day I had an editor at a very reasonable price. Who knew it could be that easy? Of course, the hard part is on the horizon. Ever since I sent off the manuscript, my emotions have been all over the place. I go into fits of excitement, fear, terror, doubt, and then excitement all over again.

Even after four drafts, the journey continues. A fresh pair of eyes will hopefully help usher The Muse to next level. I’m anticipating a “bleeding” manuscript, but I have plenty of enthusiasm to stitch it back together.

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p.s. Kristen, I hope it isn’t a horrific task to dig through my manuscript! Can’t wait to see your insights.

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c.b.w. 2014


14 thoughts on “That Moment You Realize You Need An Editor

  1. There’s serendipity at work. If I had seen that post, I would have offered my editorial services. It sounds as if you have found the perfect editor for you. Re-writing is always a chore, but when you are guided by someone who appreciates and cares about your work, it is a little easier.


    • I’ve heard writing is the easy part, while revision is the challenge. I managed to work through four drafts on my own, but you reach that point where you know a fresh pair of eyes and a little honesty is needed for the next level.

      I’ll add you to my list of editors. You never know, I might need you for a future project. 🙂


    • I’ll be writing all about it! I keep thinking that just a few years ago, I never would have had the courage to do this. It’s amazing how writing pushes us to grow in unexpected ways. 🙂 I’m anxious to see where this experience is going to take me next.


    • I can’t even begin to tell you how “safe” I feel to have you working on my manuscript. This is a nerve-wracking prospect, but I know you’re going to give me a fresh perspective! 🙂


  2. That was a lucky find! It’s amazing the people you can meet through internet media, it’s hard to imagine what life was like without it now. A bit dull?!! 😀 I came a cross a young woman on a writers site some time before I started the blog, she was posting poetry on there as I was, and she asked me if she could use one of my short stories. It turned out that she was an actress, recently graduated from drama school and lives in the UK too. She’s still in the process of creating something to post on You Tube with one of poems at the moment, she’s turned out to be a lucky find, and a lovely person too!

    I think what you did through asking is something a lot of people never think to do, because they don’t honestly believe they could get that lucky. It’s interesting how a shift in mindset can make a huge difference to the quality of our lives. I hope you get that novel in good shape very soon! 🙂


    • I love how the internet connects us in such interesting ways. We meet people we otherwise never would have known. 🙂

      I always tell my students “If you don’t know, ask.” I figured I should take my own advice and just ask for help. It turned out to be the best thing I could have done for my novel.


  3. It’s a big step to decide you need help and then to ask for it. Since I am reading backwards, I know that this has been a great decision and that you are growing thru this process. And I hope I am getting even closer to being able to read yr novel!!!


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