Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What Takes You Out of a Story? (Or Why We Need Good Editing)

Please don't do this to me while I'm reading your story.
You are happily engrossed in a story when something on page reminds you you are reading, not in a far-off land adventuring.  There are only so many times a reader will tolerate being pulled out of a story before they give up and put a book away, but what can we as writers do to keep this from happening? According to my informal and highly unscientific survey, here are three of the most complained about items that take readers out of a story:

1. Poor Grammar

2. Typos/Formatting Errors

3.  Poor Writing (Unbeleiveable character actions, contrived plot line)

Good editing can fix all of these problems. I really think every manuscript should be edited by someone besides the author for content before being published, as well as copy and line editing. If you are traditionally published, your publisher should take care of all the editing. If you self-publish, you will have to find an editor on your own, but a good editor will only make your manuscript better. Don't let little mistakes keep your readers from enjoying your story. The best writing is a team effort.

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