Proofreading, Editing, Critique
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Why Should I Pay an Editor or Proofreader to Look at My Work?
At last! The day you’ve been working towards has finally come – you’ve finished your novel. You are both relieved and overjoyed. It may have been harder to write than you initially thought it would be, but it’s finished now and you can relax. But, can you really?
No matter how skilfully crafted your plot, sloppy work is often the reason that a lot of manuscripts never make it past the slush pile. Contrary to what most writers think, running a spelling check on your computer will only pick up spelling mistakes; it won’t spot real words you have used wrongly or real words that are in the wrong order.
Have a look at the following text and see if you can spot the mistakes:
“Many people think than working form home is easy. They are talented and assume they will be be able to make a living quite easily. Sadly, this is not always the cause. Working a as a freelancer takes a lot of dedication and time. It will also effect your close relationships. Try it, you’ll sea!”
Did you spot all of the mistakes? I’ve put them into uppercase for you:
“Many people think THAN working FORM home is easy. They are talented and assume they will be BE able to make a living quite easily. Sadly, this is not always the CAUSE. Working A as a freelancer takes a lot of dedication and time. It will also EFFECT your close relationships. Try it, you’ll SEA!”
It certainly makes for uncomfortable reading, doesn’t it?
Having your work corrected for errors will allow publishers to focus on the quality of your writing rather than your language skills, which will increase your chances of getting published. So, what are you waiting for?
Editing or proofreading – which should you choose?
Ideally you should choose both. Proofreading is the important final stage your manuscript goes through before being published. Proofreaders focus on correcting superficial errors. Editing, however, goes deeper. A copy-editor will take a look at the content of your paper and make it easier to understand, better organized, and suitable for an intended audience. She will also check the grammar, spelling and punctuation.
Both proofreaders and copy-editors will query you on anything that seems odd, ambiguous, contradictory, repetitive or unclear. With a simple proofread, you won’t get the type of feedback that can make the difference between your book being published or not.
What’s a writer to do?
Proofreaders and editors don’t come cheap, but they are a necessary link in the chain of writing. By all means, run a spell check, read through your manuscript again and again and then ask a friend to check it. In doing so, you’ll be able to eliminate many errors and cut down on the time a professional will need to work on your writing, but don’t stop there. Do contact a professional and have a chat about what they can offer you within your budget. Many people will do a proof-edit which is a mixture of copy-editing and proofreading.
There really is no excuse for sloppy work. You’ve worked so hard and you’ve come so far in the marathon that is novel writing. Wouldn’t it be a pity to almost - but not quite - get that publishing contract or sell those books because you didn’t go that extra mile?
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Louanne Piccolo