Writing tip #10:
Catchy writing requires a fresh reader who is not YOU
I don’t care if you wrote 27 books, publish multiple corporate newsletters every month, or even edit others’ words. You cannot edit your own writing.
NO EXCEPTIONS! (Yes, that’s me stepping up on my soapbox and yelling.)
Fresh eyes, peeps. That’s what it’s all about.
When you write, your brain repeatedly works through messages the same way, and tends to gloss over words, phrases and ideas already “set” in your mind. It’s a subjective process. Someone else — and, preferably, a number of someone elses — can take a look at those same words, phrases and ideas and see something completely different. They provide a fresh, objective viewpoint.
Two quick examples:
• Writing a 68-page, four color, tabloid RealTime news magazine for computer resellers every two weeks required at least five sets of eyes on our team. Invariably, the designers would see mistakes the writer/editors missed, and vice versa.
• The professional editor of my initial Rhythms & Muse manuscript pointed out that I did not include any current-day scenes with my hero anywhere in the first half of the book. What? I couldn’t belief my oversight. Her input contributed to creating a much more complete, seamless, self-published novel, and helped make it interesting enough to rate almost all 5-star reviews on Amazon.
Sources of “other eyes,” though your #1 choice should always involve a professional editor:
- A co-worker in your marketing department
- Several fellow authors or editors (beta readers)
- A critique partner or group
- NOT solely your mother or good friends, even if they are avid readers.
OK, so did I make my point? You are not your own best editor!!!
Thank you. (I can step down off my soapbox now.]
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
P.S. How do you get input on your writing?
I still read about people that are convinced that they can edit their own work and get away with it. It just can’t be done. I’ve written my thoughts about it here – Self-Publishing Editing – The Biggest Indie Flaw http://wp.me/p3hCwM-33.
I just think people need to understand that, as painful it may be,it helps to have someone rip your work up.
Hey, Allen, thanks for the comment, and the link to another insightful article on the topic. Go indies!