Not that I mean to harp on a subject, but well…okay, I’m going to harp some more.
Editing really isn’t a step you can skip when preparing your book for the masses of readers out there in the world. And I don’t mean you reading through your manuscript eleventy-billion times hoping that in the process you catch every mistake you made. You won’t. And I don’t mean having a horde of beta readers read it in the hopes that they will edit it for you. They won’t.
When you read it over, you will catch things, yes. And your betas will have lots of suggestions and even fixes. Neither of those things negate the necessity of a good editor.
Why do I keep going on and on about this? Because I keep seeing so many books where this step has obviously been skipped. Some of those books could have been great stories if they had spent the time and money on this crucial step.
I thought maybe I would give you some examples of things that a good editor would have caught and corrected. These are all from different books all of which were littered with issues like these. I will mention no titles and no author names in this post. I’m not writing this to tear someone apart, I’m writing it to highlight the necessity of an editor.
So, enjoy some examples.
1. “Her dewy moisture ran down her legs.” Um…ewwww, this sounds like a woman who needs to see a doctor.
2. “Her eyes flew across the room and fastened on him.” Again eww. I now have in my head the sucking sound of her eyeballs pulling from their sockets and the sickening splat as they stick to the poor fellow across the room.
3. This particular one had me laughing hysterically (actually I still laugh hysterically at this one whenever I think about it) and it effectively ruined the entire mood of the book. Especially since there were a few other typos that created questionable events in it. This one though, this took the cake. The H and h were settling down in the woods for the night. She wasn’t particularly happy to be with him. I know the author meant to write “shifting on the ground,” but that wasn’t what was written. Instead it came out like this: “His arms went around her and she tensed as he shitted on the ground behind her.” *snort, okay I admit it, I’m giggling again*
4. In another book the characters wore cloths instead of clothes through the whole book.
5. One woman had a bear bottom (this was mentioned several times throughout the book). I am left to assume she had a large, hairy butt.
6. In one, a woman was hanging by chains from the ceiling in one paragraph, then she was sitting up from a prone position in another. Then later, she changed clothing and then her wrists and ankles where unshackled. That woman had some talent there.
7. One where “cos” was used in narrative in the place of because.
8. Another where a girl was nine and then three weeks later (according to the timeline given by the narrative) she was thirteen. They do grow up quick don’t they?
9. Another one where the character kept peaking around corners and through windows.
10. A character in another was said to have great incite.
11. “The sun shown off his bold head.” I guess only his head is bold and will do bold things while the rest of him stays behind. I know the author meant bald, but still it threw me.
12. “She was beautiful as she walked down the isle of the church in her wedding dress.” They have those in churches?
13. “The sent of her skin was like flowers.” Where was her skin sent? Creepy.
14. Another where a box followed a man through the whole book and then the book ended and the box was never addressed. Never. I still have no idea what the box was, why it followed him, or what it was supposed to do.
Anyway, these are just a few of the things I have come across in books where the author decided for whatever reason not to hire a professional editor. Now, there are times when I see it’s the first book by a new indie author and it has only been out for a few months. That author is still learning. I know exactly what that is like. I tend to give those authors a little more leeway. But when I see the book has been out for a year or more and the author has three other books out and none of them have been properly edited I just want to bang my head against the wall.
Editors are important. Their services are integral to producing a quality book. They are a step that cannot be skipped. If you don’t have the money for one, then save for it. If you don’t have the patience to wait for an edit, then find some.
A good, professional editor will ensure you don’t have an H shitting on the ground behind the h. They will make sure none of the women in the book are cursed with a bear butt. And help you notice when you have box in your story.
Okay, harpy rant over with. You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.