Returning guest blogger Sandy Nathan on editors.
The most important asset for a writer is a good editor. I'm talking about one who will tell you if you're writing garbage (a bit more kindly, I hope), are wandering all over, need to learn English (though a copyeditor can fix that), or whatever you need to know so that your writing doesn't embarrass you later.
Having found such an editor, the next thing the writer must do is follow his or her advice. Cut those extra words! Strengthen those characters! I know it hurts, but what your reviewers will say will hurt more.
Sandy writes fiction and nonfiction, for adults and kids. Her website is at http://sandynathan.com