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Hello Susan!

I have written about 3/4 of my first novel, and am finding myself thinking about how to edit and re-write it once I have finished.  It may be putting the cart before the horse, but I think my mind might be eased a little if I can find some rough answers to my question.

I don' know any authors, or professionals that I could have read, edit, and critique my story.  However, I do have some family and associates that are intelligent and that do quite a bit of reading (funny how those attributes go together, isn't it?) who have indicated that they would be more than happy to read my story.

My question is whether or not that would be enough, and if it would be worth my time to have a professional edit as well.

The book I am writing is fiction.  The story is about Keith, a 21 year-old physicist that is awakened to the hidden world of demons, and the hungry beings they use to hunt mankind.



Hello Chris:

Congratulations on having reached the 3/4 point!

Now, as to the editing and rewriting. The only opinions you should pay any attention to are those of a professional editor, agent, or publisher.

For example, what will you do if one of your family or associates says, "It needs more character development," or "The structure is all wrong," or "Your plot seems weak." Will they be able to also tell you how to fix those things? Will you know how to fix them yourself? Do you know what makes an alive, memorable character or a strong plot? These are the things you will want to know. Don't listen to anyone's opinion unless they can tell you not only what's wrong but how to fix it (that's me).

I suggest you go to my website at and check out my mentoring program. I think that is just what you need. I also suggest you stop writing until you find out how a novel should be written to knock the socks off that agent or publisher. That's just a suggestion, of course, and you can ignore it if you wish. If you are absolutely driven, go ahead and finish - at least you'll have a first draft!

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high scores over 1900 questions.

And good luck with your writing!  

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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