Editing on the cheap

     Well hello there.  It’s been well over a week so far since my last blog.  Which in blogger land, is usually something like a year away if you don’t keep up with it.  It’s like a celebrity who dodges the spotlight until their star power fades from view.  So, here at last, is my latest blog.  I suppose my last one was something of a frustrated rant.  But I felt kinda stupid about some stuff at the time, so I lashed out in anger.  I suppose it’s one thing to have your work ripped apart before your very eyes and realize it’s for your own good, but another to just get dogged on for grammatical errors that I’m sure most English majors probably pull their teeth out over.  But, the past is the past, and I soldier onward towards my writing and finding my audience.  

     And so the topic for my blog today is…editing…specifically…on the cheap.  The harsh truth about writing for a mass audience is the fact that so few get accepted no matter how many query letters they send out.  And sometimes this can end in tragedy as what happened to John Kennedy Toole.  If you’ve never heard of him, he was an American author who committed suicide after suffering through such a plethora of rejection letters, that he ended it all out of depression.  So for many would be writers, the introduction of the e-book has been a godsend to circumvent that elusive ivory tower of the publishing world.  The only problem, is the amount of work out there that badly needs a good publishing editor to sort out not only the grammatical mistakes, but also maybe throw out some suggestions as far as story and character development are concerned.  So the solution?  Hire your own editor of course!  Plenty of indie authors have and continue to do just that.  The only problem?  The cost.  Many of the more decent and above editors can easily command a salary in the thousands for a contract that would help with the amateurs among us.  So if you’re broke like I am, then what to do?  

     Well, you could do nothing.  You could just edit to the best of your ability and god help you, your work is well written enough to not work about such trivial problems.  But more realistically, you probably need some more professional guidance.  One solution I’ve came across is manuscript editing software.  Or what is more commonly known as autocrit.  Supposedly, this software is great at not only grammar, but also slow pacing, cliches of all types, and overall just a better, more tight story.  

http://www.autocrit.com/

Since WordPress isn’t giving me the option to uplink this for some reason, the web address is just above in case you are wondering.  I’ve never tried the software out myself, as I’m still deep in third draft territory, but after I’m done, I’ll probably give it a whirl and see what affects it has on my fourth.  Any thoughts or opinions on this one dear reader?  

 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Editing on the cheap

  1. Nina Kaytel

    I view editing software like cheat codes in a video game, you are sidestepping the entire process — taking a shortcut — it is good once, you get down to the final line edit before submission, but not before. Betas, CPs — that is our job and theirs, to aid the fell writer.

  2. Thank you for your candid honesty Nina. I suppose it’s hard to really know how that editing is construed. For example, I’ve known writers who have gotten the advice of an editor before, and nothing constructive really came from that. Of course there is the actual quality of the editor to take into consideration.

    As far as beta writers are concerned, I’m going to look into that hopefully by the end of the year. If I have to pay for that, then so be it. I would rather just have a more refreshing honesty and not rely on the ambiguous opinion of fellow writers who may be offended by content, or just plain hateful of other writers struggling. It’s life’s most harshest lesson I’ve learned so far that no matter how good your writing is, there are plenty who just want to drag you back into the mud where their bitterness lies.

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