Ask the Editor: Why Work with an Editor during the Writing Process?
So, you want to write a book. You’ve got the idea in your head, and a vague plan of how to move forward. But how do you get started?
Finding an Editor to Write With
Many authors seek out an editor before they have even started writing their book. The reasoning is that an editor can help you as you move through the writing process: she/he will keep you accountable, provide real time feedback that you can incorporate into the next section you write, help you create a writing schedule, and help you craft the overall structure of your book before it’s even finished.
Think of your editor like your writing coach. At TEC, we have a special service just for authors who would like an editor’s help in developing their book. They get their own editor who reads what they write at a mutually convenient pace, and have in-person meetings, usually once a month, to discuss the project and how the writing process is progressing. We can also provide moral support—writing a book is hard work after all!
Keeping on Track
Many authors find this method of writing a book is less overwhelming, as opposed to writing the book, by yourself, then going back and changing things after the fact. This way, if your editor feels your plot is getting a little convoluted, or losing focus, they can tell you—BEFORE you’ve finished the book.
Think back to your school days: do you have any memories of beginning an essay with one point in mind, then looking up halfway through only to find you’ve somehow lost your way? That can happen with books too—losing your point, or focus, halfway through is bad enough, but even worse? Finishing the book and realizing that the second half no longer flows well with the first.
Editors as Consultants
You might think that you only need to think about finding an editor after you’ve finished writing, but an editor can help you at every point in the book creation process.
Once your book is complete, an editor can help you navigate the publishing process. Whether you’re self-publishing, or looking to submit to a publisher, an editor can guide you through the steps you need to take. According to Publishers Global, there are 504 publishing houses in Canada alone, and an editor can help you decide what houses will be a good fit for your book, and assist you in submitting your manuscript.
So, if you have an idea for a book but think the writing process is too daunting to do alone, reconsider! Partnering with an editor might be just the support you need to realize your dream.
Look for the next installment of the “Ask the Editor” series: How to prepare for your first meeting with an editor.