Friday, March 9, 2012

Strengths and Weaknesses

Sometimes you don't realize something is happening until someone points it out to you.  As a writer, you may not realize how much you use a particular word or phrase, until someone sit's you down and points it out.  Who might that someone be?  Why an editor of course.  Why am I mentioning editors?  Because my grammar leaves a lot to be desired. 

As a writer, it almost leaves a bad taste in my mouth to admit that, but I am.  I never suffer from a lack of ideas.  My imagination is wonderful.  New ideas pop into my head all the time.  Sometimes new ideas and story lines  railroad whatever story I'm working on at the moment; forcing me to pay attention to them.  I often have to put aside my work and jot down a line or two, or maybe an outline.  Nope, no problems in the idea department.  But my grammar...yeah, my grammar is horrible and I own that fact.  

Where my imagination, I feel, is my biggest strength, self editing is my biggest weakness as a writer.  While I personally would rather read a great story with a few mistakes in it, rather than one with perfect punctuation, but a weak story line; not all readers feel the same.  Believe me, this is a fact that I have learned.  Faerie Wishes and Jaguar Kisses got reamed by an amazon reader for poor editing.  Aside from a lot of readers,most publishers and agents, don't share my sentiments either.  If you're going to query your work, you'd best put your best foot forward, because most publishers and agents will turn away a manuscript that is poorly edited. And guess what, the spell/ grammar checker does not qualify as an editor.  (I was told this, so I'm passing it along)  If you're a writer that is either querying or self-publishing, and remember nothing else as you research the publishing industry, remember to always have your work edited.  Even if you're grammatical skills are Jedi-Master level, always have a fresh set of eyes go over your work.

For many of my stories, I'd get one of my sisters to edit them for me.  But now that two of them have graduated college and entered the workforce, they don't have the time to dedicate to editing my work anymore.  For a long time I put off finding someone to edit.  Part of it was hesitation with trusting an outsider with my work and part of it was finding someone that I could afford.

Lucky for me I found Bev Harrison, or rather she found me.  Bev took on the task of editing Faerie Wishes and Jaguar Kisses, and has pointed out issues that never would have stood out me, had not she pointed them out.  If you're a writer in need of an editor, Bev is exactly what you're looking for.  But in the words of LeVar Burton, you don't have to take my word for it.  Head over to her newly launched website and check out the glowing recommendations from other authors. 

Until next post.

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