Everyone needs a good editor, maybe more than one. In my case, I have several editors, and boy, do they come in handy. What makes perfect sense in my head can be potentially confusing to a reader. They can’t peek into my brain to find the background story or extra information that would
help them sort out what I’m saying. I need to make sure the story is fully fleshed out and cohesive.
That’s where my writing group comes in. It’s comprised of five women with different viewpoints, reading habits, and insights. One woman is fantastic about studying the logic of a character’s actions and asking why they’re behaving a certain way when it doesn’t fit in with the character’s
usual conduct. Another excels at finding the perfect turn of phrase when my writing gets awkward, which happens more than I care to admit. Each reviewer brings a particular specialty to our weekly gatherings that consistently improves my work, page by page.
After the group has spent months reading one to two chapters at a time, I read through my updated manuscript, make a few more changes, and send it off to my agent to review. This is an equally important edit because while the writing group focuses on individual chapters, my agent sees the book in its entirety. She spots plot inconsistencies, repetitive scenes, and unnecessary characters that I missed in my own review.
Once I’ve incorporated my agent’s comments and read the entire book again, I send the finished product off to my editor at Kensington. He and a copy editor will then review it. By the time the book has gone through so many hands, I can feel somewhat assured that it’s not complete drivel.
That’s no guarantee that readers will like my book, but at least I know the story is polished and ready for release. And for that, I can’t thank my editors enough.