Friday, August 17, 2018

Edit, Edit, Edit, and Then Edit Some More

If four eyes are better than two, then twenty eyes are near perfection. Except there is no perfect book. Some reader, somewhere, will find the misspelled word.

Ten people blessed me and blessed cancer patients when they volunteered to read my book searching for typos, stupid errors, and grave mistakes. I read my book over and over and over. No book is perfect, but every book can be improved. We owe ourselves and we owe our readers the time and the hard work of editing. Our goal is to produce the cleanest and clearest copy possible. Thank you for all who helped me achieve that goal.

Dianne Barker, friend and author of eight books, was my books eleventh read. Wow! She poured her heart and her expertise into my book. When she sent her edits, I felt like I was attending a college writing course, as she not only sent suggestions, she told me why.

If you would like to contact Dianne to edit your manuscript, I give the highest recommendation.


Here's a sample of Dianne's work:

I wrote: "Too stunned to react, I sat silent knowing that in a moment of a test result life had changed forever."

Dianne suggested: "Too stunned to react, I sat silent. In a moment, a test result had changed life forever."

Dianne packed power into those words, yet didn't change my voice. My appreciation of her is immense.

Editing is tough, yet necessary. Don't sell your book short (literally).

 Edit, Edit, Edit, and Then Edit Again.

Some tips for surviving the editing process:

1. Let go of your pride. 

The editor has one goal: to make your book better. Be happy, not devastated or embarrassed when the editor changes the sentence you spent three hours perfecting. The book belongs to you. You choose whether to accept or reject each edit.

2. Keep your voice.

"Write the way you speak." Thelma Wells said at an Advanced Writers and Speakers Conference. So, hold on to your voice. An editor may change your "do not" to "don't" to make the sentence more conversational, but if you say "do not" and rarely say "don't," then not a good idea to change.

3. No two readers or editors think the same.

One editor said, "You don't like commas do you?" She filled the manuscript with perfectly placed commas to enhance the readability of my book. I sent the comma-laden script off to another editor who removed most of them. When in an English-usage quandary, check your heart, and discern which read makes more sense to you. Both of these editors are award-winning authors. They know the punctuation business. I trust them both. But, they are human so they think differently.

One reader loves a paragraph. Another says to get rid of the beloved words. Again, use your discernment.

4. An editor does more than find typos. 

They make your work shine. Shine for Jesus, dear author, shine!

Have a Splashes of Serenity Kind of a Day!


  1. So good! I love this advice as I'm in the process of writing a book and the editing part scares me to death! Thanks for being so transparent and sharing your heart, Elaine. x

  2. Writing is hard and scarey because satan doesn't want Christian influence in the world. Go for it, Mary! Even if it isn't perfect, your words can be used by God. Hugs and prayers for you.


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