Who Should Authors Turn to for Editing Advice?

Writers invest their very lives in their work, so who should they turn to when a manuscript is finished? Increasingly, literary agents are taking the place of publishing house editors. 

What's the Latest Development?


For many authors, sharing their work is like sharing their soul. So who should modern writers approach with such a delicate ware? Increasingly, says the Economist's book blog, literary agents are taking the place of publishing house editors, whose lack of time now demands entirely finished manuscripts. Naturally, writers should seek out other writers. "Some confine themselves to a report of what they liked or understood, or didn’t; others offer their suggestions for developments in character or plot. Occasionally, the critique can veer into the territory of 'the much better book that I would write if it were mine'."...

What's the Big Idea?

While the editing process can be trying for many authors who, having invested their very lives into their work, despair to see how shockingly imperfect it can be, seeking criticism is essential "for the simple reason that the author cannot really see the work. It’s a perplexing blindness, this inability to stand far enough away to evaluate, objectively, the thing that one has written. Most writers are dependent on key readers whose acuity and understanding of the form can help them grasp the whole." Viewing a story from every possible angle can help return to the writer to the story he or she originally wanted to tell. 

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