Recently, I watched a lot of episodes of People's Court. (My excuse is that I was recovering from surgery. :b ) One case that stuck in my mind involved a plaintiff who was suing the woman he had hired to edit his short story. Yes, his short story! :wha He paid her quite a bit of money, and he never even got the story or the notes back. She argued that it was because he was a lousy writer and that it was more work than she had expected. (She did not endear herself to the judge.) IIRC she even tried to charge him extra because it turned out to be harder to edit the work than she thought.
I wanted to shout at the guy, "Join a critique group!" In fact, I probably did shout at the screen, if I was still taking Percocet at this time. I couldn't believe someone who had so little money and had just started writing would hire an editor so quickly. (I think they were brought together by friends.)
I don't remember how much money he paid, but I'm pretty sure it was at least one hundred dollars, probably more, to edit a short story. Even if he was able to sell the short story, he was unlikely to make as much money from the sale as he had paid to have it edited. And more importantly, even if he found an editor who could help him, he would not be learning how to make those improvements to his own writing.
If he wanted to become a painter, would he hire another painter to fix his perspective? If he wanted to become an engineer, would he hire another engineer to fix his numbers? Why is it that people think it's standard practice to hire an editor once they've written something? Is it because it's easier than learning to rewrite it themselves, or worse, learning when it's time to leave the story in the drawer?
To be fair, I don't think the editor was a scam artist. I think they both had a misunderstanding about what the project involved, and she gotmore than she bargained for. I simply couldn't understand why she agreed to the work, or why he hired her in the first place. :head