I have been pondering hiring a professional editor to work with me on Through my Eyes. Again.. I received useful feedback from readers here and elsewhere and a few kindly souls agreed to read and provide more detailed feedback. After much thought, about 10 days ago I finally selected an editor. Since then, she has been firing chapters back to me and I have been racing to work through them.
Many of the edits are simple and require almost no thought on my part: for example, the way I had formatted dialogue between lines was, apparently incorrect and I just needed to accept the changes. Similarly, my editor had been extending some order to my comma usage, which apparently is a bit variable.
Then there are the 'you've used this word twice now in the last couple of paragraphs' or even more problematical 'find another way of saying "look" - it's getting boring'. These require reading through chunks of text and searching for alternate words and phrases (or even completely different sentences) that add to the meaning in the text - not a huge issue but requiring thought - sometimes considerable thought. The disappointing thing about this is that I tried hard to do this myself, but clearly failed.
Then there's the perennial one for authors - show, don't tell! I have a tendency to think in pictures and so my writing style has too much 'telling' rather than letting the action and dialogue speak for itself. Some of my beta readers have also commented that I give too much detail in places…sigh, that is another problem I'm working on.
Then there are deeper issues I'm grappling with that have resulted in some additional text in order to clarify what's happening with Will's mother and to a lesser extent his father.
All in all, this is a fascinating and yet frustrating process. I'm not sure where this is taking the book in terms of its future, but I am learning a great deal.