If you’re thinking about publishing your fiction, it’s worth finding a fiction editor to make sure your writing is clear and error-free before submitting it to publishers.

Good writing often means good editing. Even if you have a great story to tell, if the writing isn’t of high quality, then all the mistakes could get in the way of the reader enjoying your story. That is why good editing and proofreading are essential.

One of the main issues for fiction writers is the run-on sentence. In general, break longer sentences into shorter ones and keep sentences as concise as possible. Also, try to avoid using more than two adjectives in a row, as this could clutter the sentence. Don’t link too many phrases together with “and,” as this could give the sentence an awkward “listing” quality. Always remember to keep your reader in mind. Constantly ask yourself what your reader might be thinking and feeling, and adjust your writing accordingly. When writing, don’t waste any words. Trim out excess language and unnecessary passages so your writing isn’t bogged down in the inessentials. This will improve the pacing of your work, making it a swifter and clearer read.

Finding a Fiction Editor to Polish Your Writing

Excessive detail could clutter the description of the action, making the sentences read more haltingly. An incredibly detailed description isn’t necessary. Instead, give a more general description of the action or scene, letting the reader fill in the fine details with his or her imagination. This technique is a bit like drawing, where the artist would simply suggest an object, for example, by drawing a tree using a few lines and shades rather than drawing every leaf.

Don’t forget the simple basics that can also be very useful when it comes to editing, such as using your spelling and grammar check tools.  Many online resources can help with grammar and citations, such as Grammarly.com and the Purdue website:

owl.english.purdue.edu

Feedback is also invaluable for fiction writers. Since friends and family are often more concerned about your feelings than offering honest advice, it’s a good idea to hire a professional editor for honest and constructive feedback. Check a potential editor’s background and credentials before making a commitment. It is also a good idea to ask for a free sample edit first so you both get a good feel for working together before making any permanent decisions.  Furthermore, when working with a professional editor, remember to specify your concerns at the very start, to save yourself time and money.

Originally posted 1/21/2011 and happily updated 11/16/2017. Thanks for reading!

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