Letting Them Tear You Apart

The thing is, a lot of people in self-publishing lack proper editing. I think I’m a decent editor, but editing one’s own work is hard. It’s your baby, and you want it to be perfect.

So when someone comes along with a red pen and suggests cutting a whole sentence and rethinking a paragraph, or even moving or cutting a whole chapter and adding a new sub-plot, it’s hard to realise you’re not the awesome perfect writer you thought you were.

In legacy publishing, you have multiple different types of editors to help improve your manuscript. Editors, copyeditors, line editors, and maybe others I don’t know about because I’m not in the industry.

In self-publishing, there is only you, and whoever you can pay, cajole, beg, bribe and blackmail to do it for you.

I’ve had some wonderful people as my beta readers. They haven’t torn me apart… yet! Dadewalker is due back in a couple of weeks. I’m simultaneously really excited to read different opinions on it, and dreading it like a vaccination injection!

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7 thoughts on “Letting Them Tear You Apart

  1. S.D. Livingston says:

    It gets easier every time, and you’ll find yourself looking forward to constructive criticism. Many years ago I got a ms back from an editor with seven little words worth their weight in gold to a newbie.

    I’d written “She shrugged her shoulders.” He’d scratched out two words and scrawled in the margin, “What else is she going to shrug?” I’ve put that principle to good use many times – and the aha moment still makes me smile.

    Good luck with the edits!

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    • Lissa says:

      Thanks for your encouragement! I do look forward to criticism on my work, because I know it makes it better, but I think I’m anxious about Dadewalker because it’s my most special of stories, the dearest of my art.

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  2. Jameson Rook says:

    Having read some of your previous work, i say you have nothing to worry about. I look forward to get a hard copy of your work

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  3. broadsideblog says:

    Editors are truly your very best friends. I’ve published two non-fiction books and had five first readers (beta) each time, in addition to my editor. Their comments were invaluable.

    By the time any writer has finished a manuscript of 60-100,000 words, you simply can’t see the forest for the trees. Even after 5 beta readers and two entire revisions, two MORE readers caught things at the end that I quickly changed. We all need FRESH eyes.

    Never fear their comments; if they are smart and well-read, they will offer insights and clarity.

    The most essential point? They are not tearing YOU apart. They are tearing your writing apart. Until you can detach your ego from your work, the process will be something you dread, not welcome. I had to revise 10 of 12 chapters of my new book….and the reviews are almost all fantastic now.

    Worth it!

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