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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Three Things about Authors, From a Copy Editor's Perspective

First, we all start out as newbies, and there is nothing wrong with this. We have to begin somewhere. Just think of all those people who wish to write a novel someday, yet haven't. Well, we've done it. And it's not as easy as it seems, right? So we've done something huge. Now there are relative measures as to this "newbie" status, with a few authors exhibiting their vast potential Day One, like Nora Roberts aka J. D. Robb, Ayn Rand and other greats, which leads me to the next point.

Second, we all continue to learn, to grow in our craft as we pursue our careers as authors. Yes, even the J. D. Robbs of the world. We never stop gaining knowledge as to our art. In the State of Texas, lawyers are required to annually complete a minimum fifteen hours of continuing education. For me, as an Indie author, I easily read weekly that much and more of how-to material. Even if a book/article is about things well-known to me, I still search to find one nugget of gold therein that is new and useful. But regardless of the actual time expended, we career authors continually strive to improve.

Third, we all have blind spots, no matter how brilliant our writing is on the whole (just like our cars have blind spots no matter how wonderful the make and model). We all have unconscious, as-yet-unknown oversights that show up in our writing. Hopefully some ace copy editor or critique partner can point those out for us, so we can watch for them and deal with them as needed.

I've read where some authors update their earlier work, applying their current level of expertise to novels from the beginning of their career. Whether we make this particular effort or not, our work as authors is never really done. So keep on writing, learning, perfecting.

Best wishes to all.

"If your vocation isn’t a vacation, then quit, leap, change careers."

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. Ralph Waldo Emerson
When you give someone a book, you don’t give him just paper, ink, and glue.  You give him the possibility of a whole new life. Christopher Morley
The best inheritance you can leave your kids is an example of how to live a full and meaningful life. Dan Zadra

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