Editors: Who They Are and What They Do

A lot of us are thinking of publishing a novel. When we near the finish, the question of whether we need an editor or not (you do!) comes forward. This blog post by Savannah Gilbo is the perfect navigation tool for anyone who wishes to take their novel and winnow out the errors. Hope you find it helpful.


4 Comments on “Editors: Who They Are and What They Do”

  1. I looked at the article and types of editors. That’s the problem – types of editors, for this, that and the next thing. BULLSHIT. There is one editor, the person with complete reading comprehension who understands your story. If your story is not understood, there are two possible problems. The editor is shit. Or your writing is imperfect. I tend to the first explanation because editors are not perfect. They are liable to misunderstand. So remove as many adjectives, as many prepositional phrases, and all adverbs. Make your sentences reasonably short, and sentences follow one another, in the author’s convoluted logic, and you may realize you need someone to proof your novel or writing.


    • I agree you don’t need all the types to help your novel along. However, knowing where your weak points are and seeking advice from a professional is highly recommended. If you’ve done a lot of cut and pasting, maybe you need someone to point out sequential errors. If grammar just isn’t your thing but you’ve got a great voice and idea, then receiving help from a line editor might be what you need. If you are blessed with perfection and can proofread your own work with a critical eye, then you are one of the few that won’t necessarily benefit from an editor.


      • I come from this from years of writing and experience. A friend, who died a few years back, could spot a misspelled word at 1000 yards. Other parts of her English were good.
        After her reading my stuff for years, I learned what she was saying. I began following her advice.
        However, one can proceed more quickly. No adverbs, no adjectives – if you’re using adjectives you’re using the wrong verb. And no prepositional phrases. Use whatever program your computer has to identify those infractions.
        Next, do not write 30 or 35 words, and add a comma, adding another 80 or 125 to complete the sentence. That is not style. That is confusion.
        Finally, what sort of author are you if you can’t find blanks in your story? If there’s a hole were there should be text? Does the idea or concept from from an editor, or should it come from the author.
        HEY! I wrote and struggled with a novel, first writing 63000 words, pumping it to 72,000. By 2015, I was headed to 80,000. I got to 82,000. I was rereading, revising, etc.
        I’m sitting around in 2019 stretching my butt, and suddenly something came to me. I had not written the first chapter of that novel. I wrote it in a day, corrected it.
        It is on Kindle Direct, Michael Ulin Edwards, TAKING IT WITH YOU.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: