Work With Your Editors

A Simple Way to Work with Editors

Many writers dread the editing process, especially when it comes to recommendations for rewrites. David Amerland calls editing brain-squeezing. I agree. For every suggestion an editor makes you have to agree, disagree, or partially agree. Then if you agree, it’s time to rethink that portion of the manuscript and make changes. So, you need to think of the way to make the changes that fit with the story, the character(s), and the scene. 

Editing requires some hard thinking.

Also, some writing programs do not allow an editor in for comments and suggestions, or the ability to highlight text. This requires a new process of downloading the manuscript in a format the editor can access. The editor uploads the document, makes editorial comments and suggestions, downloads the document to send to you so you can upload and make changes. This process may be repeated several times. No wonder writers dread the process. 

Google Docs can eliminate the file exchange process by allowing editors direct access to the document. Once there, they can highlight text and make comments for changes. You can reply, make changes and talk to the editor about the changes. In one place. 

Your time and energy are focused on making your story the best you can make.

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Curb Your Emotions

You pour your heart, soul, and brain into your story. Once the story is written, it becomes a commodity. Your end goal is to publish and have readers. If you approach the editorial process as a process to reach that goal rather than a direct attack on your writing, you’ll be able to keep emotions at bay a begin to see your writing with a similar critical eye.

Using editors to fine tune your story pays dividends in story structure and readability. Professional editors will help you see the places where the story is weak or when a sentence is awkward. An editor with a good eye will also help you find the elements to cut from a sentence to an entire scene. 

If you are on a tight budget, and many writers are, look for a friend, a reader in your genre, or someone who likes editing. Ask for their help. But find someone to help you see your manuscript with an objective eye. 

You always have the last word. It is your choice to accept an editorial suggestion or not. 

​Zara Altair

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