Welcome to my blog


Welcome to my blog. Here you will find tips that will help you write books and articles that establish you as the expert in your market.
                   --Lee Pound

September 2018
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Why You Need an Editor or Critique Group

This will be one of the most important tips I’ll give you in this series of posts.

You see, most people think they can write. And in one sense that’s true. We can all put down a reasonable number of words in an order that makes sense. However, there is a lot more to writing than this.

We write for a reason, to entertain, to sell, to create an emotional reaction, to grab attention, to promote ourselves. Most people who have not had specialized training in writing skills do not know how to do these things. Most new fiction writers, for instance, make thousands of  craft errors which dramatically weaken the impact of their writing.

Non-fiction works the same way. Most writers either shove a bunch of facts down our throats or preach to us, telling us what we should belive or know.

By the time I was in my forties, I had been a newspaper editor for 15 years, had read hundreds of novels and non-fiction books, my newspaper had won best newspaper in California three years running (from California Newspaper Publishers Association), and thought I knew a lot about writing. (I did, certainly more than most non-professional writers.)

Then I wrote my first novel. I thought it was good and showed it to a friend at the newspaper, a reporter. She came back a week later and said she thought I should take some courses in fiction writing.

You see, even though I had been an editor and writer for years, I still needed the specialized training in the items that matter most in writing, the items I talk about in this blog.

You can’t imagine the amount of fiction and non-fiction I’ve read over the last 10 years from wanna be authors. Most of it is awful and the writers have no idea it is awful and resent being told so. I am ever grateful to my friend for being blunt and truthful about my writing.

After she said that, I went out and took classes, went to conferences, joined writers groups and eventually found my mentor, Sol Stein, former owner of Stein & Day Publishers in New York. What I learned made an incredible difference in my own writing. This blog is one way I share those deep writing skills with you so you can create effective writing wherever you write.

Editors are crucial because they see things in your writing that you can’t see. They see places that don’t work, ideas that aren’t fully developed, confusing transitions, and so forth. Critique groups do the same. A group filled with pros who are willing to tell you where your writing is going wrong is like gold.

Remember, every newspaper reporter has an editor. Even the editor has an editor. ALL commercially published books are heavily edited. That’s why most of them are of very high quality.

Authors who self publish who think they don’t need an editor are sadly mistaken. It is precisely your book’s aura of quality that draws people to you. If it is filled with errors, is poorly designed, and reads like a boxcar bouncing on a rough railroad track, you have failed in your mission to impress potential clients.

There’s a persistent belief out there that you do not need an editor. If that were true, commercial houses would publish everyone’s raw manuscript. Why bother editing if nobody needs editing? Why? Because if they didn’t they would go out of business.

Whatever you do, have someone knowledgeable about your field and about writing read and edit your book before you print it. You will save yourself an incredible amount of grief and draw in far more new clients.

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3 comments to Why You Need an Editor or Critique Group

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lee Pound, Norman Naylor. Norman Naylor said: RT @LeePound: Critical blog post. Why You Need an Editor or Critique Group http://bit.ly/cA3rK7 @JeanetteCates #blog30 […]

  • Wow, I'm really looking forward to your teachings on writing. This is going to be very interesting to me :)

    Gwen

  • Great article as always Lee! You are so right about needing an editor.

    A little while back a friend of mine, who is a great freelancer writer, read one of my article only to come back to be with a mouthful of harsh criticism. I was kind of stunned, not because of the harshness, but because there was so much wrong with my article that I never knew about.

    I rarely proofread or edit my articles, I know I should. When she did edit my article my articles where ever higher quality than what they usually were!

    Though I wasn't too happy with the whole 'waiting' for editing though. Mostly why I don't edit these day.

    But you are right Lee. We should all have editors!
    Thanks!
    –PK

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