Why You Need a Professional Editor

You’ve taken writing courses, participated in workshops, and joined critique groups. You are committed to your craft, and determined to get your work published. What role can a freelance editor play in helping you achieve your goals?

Every writer, at any stage of their career, can benefit from a professional edit. Whether you have a brilliant idea, a first draft of a manuscript, or a non-fiction proposal, an editor can help you refine your concept, shape your vision, and/or position your work for the market.

You’ve consulted your peers, other writers, beta readers, and your writing community. Now you need a professional pair of eyes on your work. Does the pacing sag in the middle of your novel? Are the stakes for your characters constantly rising? Can a reader connect emotionally to your story? Is your plot meandering? A professional editor can help you identify problematic areas and make suggestions for improvement. If you are feeling stuck with anything related to your writing, a professional editor is there to brainstorm solutions, and set you on the right road moving forward.

But really, whatever point you are at in your writing journey, professional editorial services add immense value to your work. If you’ve always had a book in you, and the stars have finally aligned to give you the time and space to write it, you are going to need an industry expert to show you the way. If you’ve been a reluctant writer for many years and have countless “trunk” books, now is the time to reach out to a professional to make your dreams a reality. If you have worked tirelessly on your work-in-progress, and you need a fresh perspective to take it to the next level, a freelancer could be the best way forward.

Maybe you don’t even have a comprehensive concept, completed proposal, or full manuscript. A professional editor can weigh in on early chapters, outlines, synopses, and pitches. Or focus on specific aspects of your writing, with the aim to elevate your overall work— from plot, pace, and perspective, to character and dialogue.

A strong professional editor will review your work, ask important questions, listen to your vision, and give you appropriate feedback on how to polish and perfect your project. A professional will provide you with an objective assessment, and give you the tools you need to create your best work. It is a customized experience—every writer, and every project, is different—and there are various approaches to feedback from very specific to global in nature.

If your goal is publishing, in whatever form, a professional edit (or two, or three), can enormously strengthen your work. Whether you’ve completed your first draft, or are somewhere in the midst of one, we can help you evaluate what is (and isn’t) working, and address specific concerns with your writing. At 5 Otter Editorial, we understand publishing on a macro level and have the skills to apply that knowledge on a micro level to your work. We read with an eye to marketability, and assist you in determining where your work fits on bookshelves. We’re not your standard beta readers—we’ve been doing this professionally for many years and can provide honest feedback and exclusive industry insight. Our services are designed to help you produce your best work, and achieve your publishing goals.

Beyond an overall evaluation, we can give detailed line edits and thorough substantive edits which identify common craft issues such as over-writing, difficult dialogue, plot holes, tense consistency, and the ever-present “showing” versus “telling”.  And once you’re ready to start submitting your work to literary agents, we’re available to help you craft your query, come up with comparable books, prepare a concise synopsis, and provide direction on how to find the right agent.

Completing a novel is a huge accomplishment and professional editing can help your work stand out in the very competitive world of publishing.

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