So, I have this really great novel just sitting here on my hard drive. Several of them, in fact. They get rave reviews (storywise) from all readers. In fact, most of the commentary in general is positive, but they need editing. That’s where the problem arises. Professional editing is expensive, and although, as freelance writers go, “I do alright”, I have eight kids and precious little opportunity to peel off $600-$800 for a thorough edit, which is not an unfair price, so, what’s a writer to do?
I decided to ask some pros.
I suggest that all of you immediately join “writer’s group” on Facebook, it’s the one with over 30k members and it’s a nest of snakes on a good day. There are whackos and wannabes and rude people who think they are a gift from the gods to writing, but that’s not why I think you should do it. Among the writing sites I have frequented through the years, it is the one place where you are likely to meet writers that are actually earning a healthy living with their craft.
Why does this matter? Because they know what they’re talking about and most of them will share their wisdom without the need for you to sign up for a course that costs a grand. So, I asked around. I have found three or four guys that I can see are legit. They write novels for a living and earn enough to be respectable about it. I asked them what they recommended and while they said straight up to hire a real editor if you can, they also offered the method they used for their very first novel.
None of them used professional editing the first time!
Turns out that without fail, they used a combination of editing software and critique sites that allow you to trade a bit of your time in critiquing others for some good advice on your writing. I have tried a few, with almost no results, but I finally found one that seems to have a framework that actually works.