To read about why you need a critique click here.
Hiring an editor was a huge decision and a major move. My only regret is not doing it sooner. Susanne was thorough, prompt, and positive (which I’m sure wasn’t easy as my wip is far from finished.) But most of all it moved my project into hyper-speed. In the past, it took me months to get the feedback from critique partners and friends that I received from Susanne in less than two weeks. (I’m sure she doesn’t promise this turn-around time. I was surprised.)
Here’s why I hired a developmental editor:
- I wanted an unbiased opinion.
- I needed the expertise of someone who didn’t know me.
- I needed someone who wasn’t afraid to tell me what I needed without worrying about hurting my feelings.
- I wanted someone who had loads of experience writing novels and working with other writers on developing their stories.
- I struggle with asking others for favors. I always feel guilty if I ask writer friends to edit my work because I know everyone is busy writing their own novels, working, planning meals, or trying to find fifteen minutes for themselves. I’d rather pay someone.
- I’m impatient. I wanted to get better at this writing craft NOW.
- Yes, I know it costs money for this service, but how much money does a writer’s conference cost? More. And then you only get the first ten to fifteen pages of your manuscript evaluated.
- I justified spending the money this way: I’m a first time author and an entrepreneur. I’m in business to sell my novels. But first, I have to believe in my product and have a product to sell. Most start-up businesses costs money. If I want a career at selling books I need to invest in myself and learning the craft first.
- Why? Because I only have ONE time to make a first impression.
Here’s ONE invaluable tool I learned:
How to ensure my plot doesn’t have holes. Let me explain.
- Make a list of all of your scenes–either make a chart or use index cards. Or do both.
- On each 3 x 5 card write a brief description of the scene revealing the point that relates to the plot. Each scene needs a conflict, a purpose, and moves the story forward.
- Write the POV character’s name in the top right corner of the card, and use a different colored highlighter for each POV. This makes each scene a certain color and ensures you’re rotating POV’s in your scenes.
- You’ll have the most scenes in the main protagonist’s color.
- Arrange these cards on a large table so you can see the whole picture. This will help you find plot holes and know where to put a scene from a different POV. You’ll be able to move the cards around and intersperse the scenes.
- If you have a secondary plot you can color code those at the top left to make sure you have enough scenes about that plot. Intersperse them.
- If you have a police procedural–as I do–this will give you the ability to see if you have enough cards featuring the facts outlining the investigation portion.
How do you SEE your plot holes?