Thursday, July 11, 2013

Is the editor always right? #wwow


Chances are, if you've written a book and are published or attempting to publish, you're going to encounter an editor at some point. The question is, is the editor always right?

Most likely, you're your biggest fan. You love your story. You've read it countless times and it rocks! But now the hard part, someone else is going to read it and make notes, request chances, and so on.  This can be scary? What if the editor you have dislikes your story, then what? Well, hopefully the editor you get likes your story and if they don't, they are able to keep their feelings to themselves. However, if you do get an editor that absolutely hates your work and you can tell, if you're with a publisher, request a new one. If you're self publishing, you have the option to use anyone you choose.

First up. Grammatical changes, such as commas, periods, and such. Yes, your editor is probably right. You have four sentences in a row starting with she. Yes, you should probably change at least one so it doesn't feel repetitive. This stuff is pretty simple. Some publishers have specific house rules and even if its a way you don't agree with, like okay vs OK, if it's the pubs rule to use one of them, then you have to go along with it.

Now, what about when a editor makes rewrite request - such as an entire scene? Then what? Who is right?

This is where you, the author, need to take a step back. Read the notes the editor has left about the scene. If you're feeling super annoyed that the editor didn't get what you were trying to say, move on for the time being. Call you best friend and vent. After you have the anger out of your system, go back a re-read the notes and then remember that this person has not read your story 20 times. This person is not inside your head. And the notes portray how they read the scene. Is this what you're wanting readers to get out of the scene? Yes or no?

Guess what, you can tell the editor no. However, you'd better have good reason you can explain. Sometimes the editor will let it be. In my experience, the only time the editor has come back to me and said, "Uh-uh." Is only when it really was something that really needed to be changed and I simply didn't see it. We worked together and finally polished that scene up, staying in my vision and theirs.

So, is the editor always right? No. Is the author always right? No. And the sooner the two can work together, the sooner a beautiful manuscript is born.

Now please, don't take the article and think you can run rampant in the streets and tell your editor no about everything. Just know, if you've taken the time to think about it and in your heart you don't want to change a scene or make the requested rewrites, be prepared to tell them why and possibly still have to come to a compromise on the scene.

Happy writing!

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Lacey Wolfe has always had a passion for words, whether it’s getting lost in a book or writing her own. From the time she was a child she would slip away to write short stories about people she knew and
fantasies she wished would happen. It has always been her dream to be a published author and with her two children now of school age, she finally has the time to work on making her dream come true.

Lacey lives in Georgia with her husband, son and daughter, their six cats and one black lab who rules the house.

You can find Lacey at the following places:
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