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  • Writer's pictureAmy Guan

5 Qualities in an Editor You’ll Want to Hire

Updated: 5 days ago

It’s important to find an editor who strikes the right balance in all the right areas.

Editor and author collaborating over Zoom.
Photo Credit: Julia M Cameron | Pexels

If you're a writer, you know that the road to a finished novel can be long and winding. There are plot holes to fill, characters to develop, and scenes to craft. And once you've finally written your first draft, there’s more work ahead—editing. That's where a good editor comes in.

A good editor can be the difference between a book that falls flat and a book that fits your vision. So, what are the qualities of an editor you’ll want to hire? Here are a few to look out for as you find the right match.


1. Detail-Oriented, Not Obsessive.

You want an editor who will catch all the little things, like spelling errors, inconsistencies, and grammar mistakes. But you don't want someone who is so obsessed with details that they lose sight of the big picture. An editor’s goal is to deliver a story-sound and error-free manuscript while also maintaining the author’s unique voice and vision—which may mean deviating from the standard rules at times. If your editor is spending hours debating a sentence you purposely left fragmented, it might be time to find a new editor.

Detail-oriented editors will go beyond catching grammatical errors; they will keep track of names of characters and settings, ensure descriptions across multiple chapters or books are consistent, and point out details that detract from a scene. These editors will also develop a good understanding of your writing style so they can help strengthen your voice.


2. Honest, Not Brutal.