Do you love your editor? If your book is published and doing well then the answer is possibly "yes," but if you are still battling it out on paper then possibly not. Whether or not you love or dislike your editor, please don’t fight them when he/she makes suggestions on how to improve your book.
Yes, we know you are a hot, new, brilliant writer. We know that you bled over your keyboard for a year to get your masterpiece on the page, and we agree that you know your story best. However, your editor knows the craft of writing.
Your editor loves the written word. She has studied literature of all types extensively. She can hear the rhythm of a well-turned phrase and can see the artistry in the perfect character description. She can also spot a misplaced modifier and a run on sentence faster than a kitten high on catnip.
Because your editor has seen it all, the temper tantrum will not work, and if our suggestion makes your book better we probably won’t give in. Bullying will not help. Threatening to take your book elsewhere will not move us. If you give us the silent treatment, we will wait you out.
We want your book to be published and read and re-read. We’re not going to change your story, but we will tell you when you aren’t telling the full story. We own the right to call “bullshit.” We will let you know when you need to go deeper, explain more, use different language or tell the story from a different point of view. We will help your story stay on track. All of this is to improve, not take over, your book. This is your story and your voice. Think of your editor as Photoshop for your book. We just want to help you remove the red eyes and soften the harsh lines; the picture is your work. So, the next time your editor tells you to do something; do it!
You can always hit “Ctrl + Z” later.
Now that you know a bit more about the relationship between you and your editor, the next few posts will focus on some editing tips that can help you improve your manuscript before you hire an editor. Stay tuned!