To Pay or Not to Pay

I recently discovered a great new resource, written by a published author: Jody Hedlund. She offers wonderful advice on everything from plotting to querying, but I was most intrigued by her post about the benefits of paying a freelance editor to critique your work.

Early on (probably too early, as it was my first draft) I had an editor critique my manuscript and I found the feedback to be invaluable. Along with a lot of other great tips, he basically told me to ditch the first act and start my story on page 79 (I was the queen of telling, not showing). He also suggested I join a critique group, hence the Restless Writers.

I was considering having the first fifty pages of my mss critiqued by a different editor, but unsure if I was simply procrastinating on the inevitable rejections that come with querying. But as Jody’s post points out:

It also gives us the ultimate critical and objective feedback we need. An editor tells us like it is, minces no words, and doesn’t tip-toe around trying not to hurt our feelings.

It sounds similar to a writing conference in that there are no guarantees that an agent will result from it, but it is an investment in my growth as a writer.

What do you think? Have you paid an editor to critique your work? Was it worth it?

To the comments!

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10 Comments

Filed under Getting published, Starting up, Trials and Tribulations, Writing resources

10 responses to “To Pay or Not to Pay

  1. That would imply I have enough pages to critique. Alas, some day I will start on pieces longer than 1500 words. I’m a bit scared of them, really.

    I suspect, though, that you have to find the right fit for an editor…at the very least, someone who knows your genre well.

    Good luck, Restless One.

  2. I’ve never paid anyone, but there are those poor souls who have to edit me just because we are friends. Sometimes they are compensated in wine.

  3. Koreen

    I haven’t paid for a critique, but I’ve considered it — a lot. I promised myself that if I went another round with my latest novel (after writer critiques), I’d check into a paid editor if I still get a bunch of rejections.

  4. Elena Aitken

    I’ve never paid an editor, I’ve thought about it.
    But I feel like my crit group and beta readers give me brutally honest feedback. but…hmm..maybe they’re sugarcoating it and it’s really worse than they’re letting on….
    Ah man…

    • My Restless Writers have improved my mss immeasurably! I want perspective from someone in the industry (the lady I’m going with is a former agent). After I’ve recovered from the Xanax I’ll need to read the critique, I’ll let you know how it was… ;-)

  5. bjas

    3 Words. PAY! PAY! PAY!

  6. What a great post! I know of Jody’s website and she is a gracious, now published writer who is doing a “solid” for others seeking the same goal. I pay and wouldn’t do it any other way. Invaluable!

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