EDIT ME — Arguing with an Editor

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Today’s Edit Me is all about putting on your armor before you hit SEND.

Whether you’ve got an editor through your publishing house or you’ve contracted a freelance editor, you must grow a pair and expect feedback.

We hold up our baby and wait to hear if it’s ugly or not. Usually it’s not going to make editors run shrieking into the night. But they might say, “Don’t enter your baby into a cutest baby contest. Yet.”

Because this is the editor’s job.

She/he is:

reading and evaluating your plot from the viewpoint of hundreds, thousands, hopefully millions of people

correcting grammar

looking at characterization

fixing punctuation

Let me say that I’m an editor and I cannot gain enough distance from my work to edit for myself. I can’t see the plot with fresh eyes when it’s my brainchild. NEITHER CAN YOU.

I recently had an editor push me for revisions on a book I thought was perfect–a sure hit. But when it came down to it, she was totally right. Did I love receiving that email telling me to make changes? Hell, no. But I took a few minutes/hours/days to ingest her ideas and see the book in a new light.

This is what you need to do. Every time. All the time. Do not let your vision shadow the potential in your book!

With this said, can you ever argue with an editor? Of course. We will listen. We might even take your side. But we also might offer insight on ways to strengthen your idea so it doesn’t seem so “off” to us.

However, if I tell you that your hero is a douche bag, he is. I’m sorry, but this will read universally. If your heroine is a whiny bitch who is too stupid to live, I’m right too. Believe me, it’s better to get that private email than to have your readers splashing this news all over your Amazon buy page!

Moral of the story is: Editors are not out to get you. We are not secretly jealous that we can’t write a book as good as yours. Take our advice. *toothpaste ad grin*

Thanks for reading!



9 comments on “EDIT ME — Arguing with an Editor

  1. Editors are strong people, and very necessary for writing 😀

    Great post 🙂

  2. Thanks for a great article. I learn a lot from my editors even – usually especially- when I think my ‘baby’s’ perfect. LOL

  3. I love my editors. I need my editors. Sometimes it’s hard to hear their advice, but I always try to remember publishing is a team sport.

  4. Editors are the drummers in a hot band. They aren’t the lead, but deserve groupies too! Their job is to make writers look good. How can anyone not want that?

  5. When I want to argue with my editor it helps to impose a “waiting period” to cool down and get back to thinking straight before you do. DH is good at holding my hands behind my back until I’m chilled enough to respond. Lol.

  6. So true! Sometimes the things they say that upset you the most, are the most vital in changing your book for good. I’ve learnt the hard way to think about it for a few days and let my fury calm down. Then I begin to see the light and realise they’re right. I wish I’d listened to one of my editors in a book. I fought her the whole way and in the end got bad reviews for that book.

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