Working With An Editor: An Ally, Not An Adversary

Office worker sat at desk proof-reading document

I am extremely lucky.

I have editors that love my writing and love the idea of my book. What they didn’t love was all of my book, and as a writer, that’s not always an easy thing to hear. After all, this book is  my baby. These characters are my family – I know them inside out.

But I also know that an editor’s job – a good editor, anyway – is to make my book better. And they do that by challenging me to find a way to do it. They haven’t “taken over,” they haven’t slashed and hacked with a red pen while cackling wildly, they haven’t burned all the earlier drafts in a bonfire while I watched in anguish.

Instead, they’ve read, offered thoughtful direction, asked for clarification, suggested simplification, helped me rework my timeline to jump into the action, and thrown in several “Nice!” “I love this!” and “Soooo good!” comments in the margins to show me I’m on the right track.

What’s emerged is a book that’s better, stronger, clearer, and still all mine. It’s been a real collaborative process and at no time have I felt like I’ve lost anything. I’ve gained immeasurably in knowledge, experience, and a far better book.

Holly, Lauren, Emily….you rock. Thanks again for believing in me.

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