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Monday, 13 September 2010


Stolen, with permission, from FFW SMALL MARKETS, a weekly newsletter edited by Hope Clark.
Writer's Digest's 101 Best Websites for Writers
2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
Editor: C. Hope Clark
Web Site:

The best best-selling authors sound like crap before an
editor gets his hands on the manuscript.
Well, maybe not crap, but the work is still rough - rough
enough for the publisher to want it touched up, chapters
rewritten, characters raised to a higher level or settings
clarified and sharper.
Two heads are better than one. In writing, three or four
are much better, assuming the readers know what they are
No writer should be exempt from editing - novice or expert.
The writing world is experiencing a huge deluge of novices.
Sure, everyone has to be a novice at some point. And before
the Internet and electronic communication, a lot of good
writers never had a chance to become known. So yes, the
deluge opens doors to more good writing. But it also
enables the inexperienced to jump on the train.
The path between newbie and journeyman (i.e., solid,
trained, reliable worker) is not just via experience and
hard effort. Feedback is needed; feedback from someone
with the skills to identify progress and quality.
Every writer needs one, two, or more people in his toolbox
who knows writing. If you are a serious writer, you know
how hard it can be to find a mentor, an editor. Most
writers skip this part of the development process, and I
think these are the reasons:
1. Fear of rejection. An experienced eye is going to rip
   up your inexperienced work product. Yes, and you want
   that. Without knowing what's wrong, you can't improve.
2. Self-esteem issues. Mothers, friends, siblings and
   writers on the same level as you will tell you more
   positive than negative, simply because they are
   more invested in you than the writing.
3. I'm-still-new syndrome. The amateur feels he has to
   become more of an intermediate-level writer before
   qualifying for a mentor. You  need feedback at every
   level. You'll never graduate from the need for mentors.
   As your skill level rises, so will your need for a
   different type editor. While you don't need someone
   to watch over your shoulder as you write each scene,
   you do need to know if your work is on target before
   submitting for publication.
4. I don't know anyone. If you cannot find a solid writing
   group, create one. Join professional writing groups and
   seek members willing to work together. Join online forums
   and listservs. The more you seek, the more chances are
   you'll find a niche that serves your needs.
5. Be willing to pay. If you respect your writing, you're
   willing to hire an editor before submitting a major
You never know where you stand until someone tells you
where you are. And usually that person is someone who has
walked this road before you.

    Hope Clark

Read FFW Small Markets online at:

And, thank you, Hope, for allowing me to purloin your words of wisdom for my readers.

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