By Serena Tatti
Note: With the rise in digital self-publishing, everyone, it seems, is looking for a story editor to improve their manuscripts before indie publishing or submitting to an editor. Well, I’ve found a great one and I’d like to introduce you to her. Her name is Serena Tatti and she lives in Victoria, Australia.
Thank you for inviting me to your wonderful blog and allowing me to explain why it can be very helpful to have your work professionally edited.
I can hear some of you asking, “Surely when I sell my book, the editor will fix it for me?”
Time is money and most publishing houses or agents don’t have the time to devote in nurturing new authors, no matter how talented. A flawless manuscript will immediately put the editor or agent in a better frame of mind when reading your submission. There is nothing that pulls a reader out of a story more than continual spelling, grammatical or punctuation errors. The latter can actually change the meaning of a sentence. Here is a classic example:
- A woman without her man is nothing.
- A woman: without her, man is nothing.
Adding a colon and a comma can make the same words in the same sequence mean the exact opposite.
With the changing trends in publishing, a lot of authors, both published and not published, are turning to digital self-publishing. What was once frowned upon is now the way of the future because self-publishing can prove quite lucrative for little outlay. Even though these books are usually much cheaper than print books, most readers expect well-written and seamless books.
As an author, you are always close to your own work. You know your characters inside out, know the setting, the conflicts, the scenarios that meld together to bring this story to life. No matter how many times you read your own writing you will invariably overlook some mistakes as your brain often sees what you expect, not what’s really on the page. You’ve lived and breathed your story for weeks, months or even years so can often be blind to confusing sentence structure, spelling errors or inconsistencies in chapters. An impartial proofreader or editor can bring fresh eyes to your work to eliminate distracting mistakes and ensure the writing is clear.
If you choose a proofreading option, it will mainly look at spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax, which is the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences. While MS Word has Spell Checker (F7), and it’s an invaluable tool, it’s not foolproof. It may want to make changes that you know are incorrect. Perhaps sometimes you’re not sure if the suggested changes are incorrect. That’s when the “fresh eyes” can help.
An editor will also look at the correct word for your story e.g. Many people get confused by homonyms, which are words that sounds the same but have different meanings e.g., to, too, two; your, you’re, yore; where, we’re, wear; there, their, they’re.
Its It’s the editor’s job to find the
write rite right word.
A full editing option will usually include all proofreading services, and comments and suggestions as necessary on continuity, content, characterization, conflict, pacing, dialogue, emotional tension and plot.
Many editors (myself included) often offer a free sample edit (usually ten pages). This is as much for you to see if you’re happy with their work, as for them to see if your work is compatible with them Don’t forget that many proofreaders and editors often started as writers, so we understand the sensitivities of the author.
Of course, you should edit your own work to see if you’ve managed to convey your story the way you want it. Bear in mind that having a professional edit can really make your writing sparkle, and perhaps get you one step closer to your goal, be it to sell to a publisher, or make money from self-publishing.
Thanks again for having me as your guest and thank you for the opportunity to talk about my new venture.
About Serena Tatti:
Serena Tatti left a promising career in medical research to raise her family. Cliché, but true. Having always been an avid reader of romance novels, she decided to try her hand at writing one of the many stories that lived in her head. Several more followed in quick succession. Soon it was evident that the proofreading and editing skills that had often been utilized in Serena’s medical research days, were being used more and more by friends. After working in the editing field for several years, Serena started her own editing business, Serena Tatti Editing Services. She lives in Victoria, Australia.
At Story Editor, we work on projects of any size including articles, short stories, novellas, novels (any length, most genres) and theses whether scientific or legal (or ask about other subjects).
All work is carried out in a secure and confidential environment.
Check out the website for testimonials and contact me if you’d like a quote.