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. Continue reading

Traveler Is DONE. Finito.


That’s right, I printed it up. Old school. Paper and a binder, just so I could see that I, in fact, had finished it.

Re-writes are done, spell-check and grammar check complete, went through the hard copy manuscript with a red pen checking for the odd typo, continuity error or repetitive phrase (how many times can someone roll their eyes, you idiot! And you’ve got to stop using dashes when you could use commas. Or periods. Honestly!)

And then I said a little prayer, drank the blood of an owl, painted my body blue and danced under the waning moon, lit a candle, rubbed some crystals, tried to find my chakras and whispered on the wind to the universe before I attached it, plugged in my editor’s email address, and pressed “send.” Continue reading

So I’ve Read My Edit Letter And Let It Soak In…

I finally sat down and read my edit letter, in its entirety, telling myself to keep an open mind as they flogged and eviscerated my baby, reminding myself that all of this was good and needful because my editors have “professional eyes” and know what makes a good book and how to make a good writer into a great writer.

I am occasionally very, very right, and this was one of those occasions.

This letter was spot-on.

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The Edit Letter Is Here

Proofreading red pencil

That’s right – after months of anticipation, it’s finally, finally here. Actually, my editor handed it off just before the holidays and I’ll make a small confession: I haven’t looked at it yet.

(Holly and Lauren, if you’re reading this…breathe. It’s chill.)

With the hubbub of the holidays, and the joy (?) of being trapped in a house with a couple of stir-crazy kids on winter break, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to give it a thorough read or get a substantive word written. So I deliberately tucked it away in the binder with my printed manuscript, and tonight, it gets pulled out.

Continue reading