What Are the Advantages of Working with a Professional Editor?
Working with a professional editor can be transformative both for your work and yourself as a writer. A skilled editor will get the best out of your story by helping you see it more clearly, and their suggestions can revamp your writing in ways that self-editing alone can’t achieve. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can handle all the editing yourself just because you’re a grammar whiz—it’s exceedingly difficult to edit your own writing. Since you know what you meant to say, it becomes all too easy to miss silly typos and nearly impossible to detect unclear explanations.
So, what are some of the benefits of working with a professional editor?
There’s only so much self-editing you can do before your efforts become futile. You know that moment when you’ve read a sentence so many times that it starts to lose its meaning? An editor offers a fresh pair of eyes when yours have become blind to mistakes—from typos to structural inconsistencies—and will help get your work up to industry standards. A professional editor’s knowledge of grammar and linguistics probably outshines yours, so they have a larger toolbox with which to polish your manuscript and can gently let you know when inconsistencies or ambiguities rear their ugly heads.
You want an editor you can trust with your work, someone with experience, a fresh perspective, and training; someone who will respect your intellectual property and keep your ideas confidential, who has a deep understanding of your style and genre, and who will offer the constructive feedback all authors need to get the best out of their stories. Your editor will work within your unique style and tone, making suggestions to unleash the full potential of your writing.
They’ll make your writing better
Giving objective feedback is an essential element of being a good editor, and that includes knowing how to deliver notes and suggestions. The whole point of hiring a professional editor is to improve what you’re working on, whether that’s a manuscript for a book, a screenplay, or a short story. You want someone who will offer an honest review of your work’s strengths and weaknesses. That also means you need to be willing to accept feedback you don’t necessarily want to hear. Maybe this scene is unnecessary. Maybe that line is a bit cringy. It’s better to hear this from your editor than from your readers.
Beyond fixing basic errors like spelling mistakes and sentence structure (which can be enough to diminish the quality of your work), a good editor can help with more elemental components of writing such as fixing plot holes, adjusting pacing, eliminating redundancy, enhancing readability, and spotting inconsistencies in narrative, mechanics, and storytelling. If you need help with your content, you should look into developmental editing, which focuses on plot holes, character development, and other “big picture” problems. A copy editor, on the other hand, is more concerned with linguistic issues although this includes awkward structures, ambiguous phrasing, and linguistic inconsistencies. However, a good editor won’t stop there.
They’ll help you become a better writer
Through improving your writing and developing your story alongside a dedicated professional, you will become a better writer. Editing can be a challenging process that demands openness and hard work from writers, but it’s through this sometimes painful cycle of editing and rewriting that authors discover their voice, style, and attitude as a narrator. Don’t forget that the editor’s job is to make your manuscript the best it can be—if you trust the process, you’ll benefit greatly.
Working with a professional editor is an invaluable experience for any writer, whether you’re a seasoned author or a newcomer, and what you learn from them will strengthen your future projects as well.