Sunday, November 25, 2007
The Joys of Editing...
Two Points in this post:
1. The first is an excuse for not posting for a week or so. My edits have just come back for Isle of Fire. So far there aren't any major issues…so far. My editor rocks, and she claims that most of what I need to fix are polishing types of things. Hmmm...we'll see if that holds true. lol Either way, I need to put nose to the grindstone on this, so I'll be sparse in my posts and comments for a time.
2. About Editing. I talk to students quite often, and one message I want to get across to them is "Don't hate your editor." Your editor is like a surgeon--their cuts are made to heal, to cure, to improve.
Still the edits hurt. It feels like rejection...like my ideas aren't good enough. I've discovered that each set of edits is a bit of a puzzle to be solved.
Some edits are "DUH!" things where I have one character with blond hair in chapter 3 and red hair in chapter 18. OOPS. Others are logic things: the moon can't be full because it was full so many days ago. Others are grammar things. All of those are relatively easy to fix.
But what do you do when the editor wants you to change something big? What do you do then? How do you decide when to go to war on something? For me, it comes down to the following grid:
__Is the suggestion something that will fundamentally change the story?
__Is the change an improvement to the story?
__Does the scene/idea work for its intended audience? (helps to test it with readers)
__Does the editor have a valid reason for the change?
__Is there a compromise--something that keeps what I want while granting what the editor wants?
__Am I resistant to the change simply because of ego, or do I really have a good reason for NOT making the change?
How do you deal with edits? Are there other questions that come up when crossing pens with an editor?