#Editing – the mud run of the writing process

“I’ve found the best way to revise your own work is to pretend that somebody else wrote it and then to rip the living shit out of it.” 
― Don Roff

Okay, some people have bad experiences with self-published books because most of these books are not properly edited. And because they are filled with horrible mistakes, readers who don’t like to take risks get the general impression that self-pubbed books are just shitty and therefore, not worth their time.

Let’s make an analogy. For those of you who love tattooing, and watch TV shows about tattoo artists, “the best in the nation”, who compete for $100,000 and the title of “Watch me get my fifteen minutes via your cablebox”, you will understand what I’m referring to. Tons of people claim they can tattoo because they own a machine, some ink and their friends let them do work on them for free, because they’re too cheap to try to get a decent piece at some reputable tattoo parlor instead of on their apprentice tattooist friend’s couch. “Yeah man, my friend drew this bunny rabbit who’s sucking on a carrot, ain’t that amazing?” No, dude. It isn’t. It’s lame. And you give bad reputation to guys who actually do a legit job out there and who don’t want to be on TV. What’s popular and hip isn’t exactly evidence of talent and quality. I don’t need to make another analogy to convince you of that simple fact.

Well, writing is like tattooing. And I’m tired of hearing self-pubbed books suck because they aren’t edited properly. I worked with a small publisher, and published a story that wasn’t edited either. Some work was done, but the overall mud run of frustration and the slow and painful drowning in quicksand of self-doubt during the editing process didn’t happen at all. There was no plot review. No manuscript assessment. No questioning from the publisher whether my story made any darn sense. Copy editing was a joke, and proofreading okay, I guess. So here. No self-pubbed enterprise, and my story still looked like the botched bunny rabbit sucking on a carrot freshly tattooed by a wannabe tattoo artist who had no idea what the heck he was doing. This experience led me to 1) leave that publisher 2) forget I’ve ever published that story.

Self-pubbed works will suck if the editing sucks. It’s a pretty simple concept to understand. There needs to be a manuscript assessment to make sure the plot is solid. Then and only then comes copy-editing, and proofreading. But once these three steps are completed, you still need a few beta readers, then you grab the hatchet and go at the story again in case some skeleton still awaits in a dark and isolated corner of your plot, and bam, one more round of reading/editing, and you should be done.

So before pressing the “publish” button, revise the work as much as possible. I don’t understand how people can let some crap out there, thinking they published something amazing, when all they did is cast another veil of stinky poo over all the others writers who try their hardest to release well-edited works. That stuff pisses me off beyond belief. But like tattoo artists, you got the good and you got the bad.

Hiding behind a publishing house as a brand of quality is bullcrap, my friends. Nowadays, everything needs to be proofed a million times, no matter how the work was published. Just picture that bunny rabbit. Do you see it? Good. Because that’s the image I’m going to keep in mind every time I come across a book that hasn’t been edited. There’s no excuse. Edit your work or stay the fly out of self-publishing platforms.


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