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editor picDuring this year’s A to Z Challenge, I am writing about my latest novel, Escape Plan by giving you all little snippets about the characters, inspiration, and lessons learned while writing my third novel.

Since today is also the Insecure Writers Support Group’s monthly post day, I thought I would talk a bit about one of the writing lessons I learned while writing Escape Plan. When I wrote the first book in the Overlook series, I didn’t fully appreciate the role of a good editor. People convinced me that running a novel through several critique groups was enough. I was wrong. Dead wrong. Full stop.

In the three years between writing Overlook and writing Escape Plan, I learned the value of working with a good editor. I am still a proponent of a good critique group, especially for a new writer, and beta readers, but they are no substitute for an editor. You can’t expect a fellow writer to put the necessary time and effort into your manuscript that an editor would. You need a professional. The fees they charge are worth the investment in your work. On both How To Climb the Eiffel Tower and Escape Plan, I worked with excellent editors that helped me take a good story and make it a better story. They told me where I needed to clarify a scene, where I was giving the reader more information than they needed, and made suggestions for how to make the prose sing.

As I continue to mature as a writer, I’m learning the how much there is still to learn and that you need allies along the way.

Escape Plan by Elizabeth Hein (100x150)To celebrate the release of Escape Plan coinciding with the A to Z Challenge, I am giving away a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card and 3 copies of Escape Plan. All you have to do is leave a comment with a way to reach you when you win.

Also, if you sign-up to receive my newsletter, I will send you a free copy of Overlook, the prequel to Escape Plan.

Why not check out some of the other blogs participating in the A to Z Challenge by clicking on the logo below.