Friday, October 19, 2018

Do You Really Need Developmental Edits?

Short answer>> no.

Long answer--I spend a lot of time researching stuff, mostly things like the structure of crinolines, and when tomatoes were brought back to Europe, but in the course of my wandering I've been noticing the way authors are dividing into camps. One camp is firmly on the side of "I don't need no stinkin' edits" and the other is on the side of "...I love my editor."

There are pros and cons to each side, but over the course of many years I have some observances I just want to throw out there.

1. A good story sells. It doesn't matter how big the plot holes are or if the character bounces around like a sweet, sexy, smart and incredibly stupid basketball, it will still sell, and sell plenty.

2. It is a sad but true fact that if you want to sell a lot of books you need to meet your readers expectations. You can do that without me, but you can't do it if you want to win the hearts and minds of "sweet" romance readers and hit them over the head with rampant sexy times then kill the hero.

3. It totally, absolutely, never ceases to amaze the living bejeebers out of me how set some writers are on their characters and universe being a certain way. I once read this post on covers, and in it some people were talking about how to get their artists to change things to reflect their book, and some guy comes along and says, "I don't care. A good cover is a good cover. If the hero has red hair, I simply add red hair to my hero and it's a done deal."

If your writing is set in stone, you honestly don't need an editor. I am available for a small fee to tell you how fabulous you are in words you'll enjoy reading over and over again. Just email me with the subject line "Jodi, tell me you love me!" and I'll do just that on receipt of twenty-five dollars cash money and a synopsis. I might even add a few hearts and a heartfelt "thank you for letting me read your book."

4. Many stories have bad early reviews because the writers are waiting for someone to tell them what they did wrong. It doesn't seem to bother them because it gets buried by later, better reviews, and if you can deal with it, then it seems like a good way to crowdsource your troubleshooting.

5. I get a lot of good, solid stories that could easily sell without edits. I like to think they're better after I work on them, but I also think the people who send them to me are the kind of people who'd polish the underside of their dining table, and that's a good thing, because the world needs more beeswax-on-wood action. It just smells good.

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