HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
This year I see great things for all us writers. I see less procrastination, I see more sales, I see more creativity and more new story lines and plots. You know what I don’t see?
Less EDITING! Urgh!
Okay, first off, these past few months have been very productive for me. I now have five books under contract coming out at various times this year, two will be coming out within the next couple of months!
I’m also finishing up two other stories to submit, so right now I’m on a roll. The roadblock is the editing.
Now, like the title implies, this is something we cannot and SHOULD NOT avoid. But don’t you just hate it?
Actually I don’t.
WHAT!?!? You may be asking in horror.
Let me explain quickly.
If you have the right kind of editor (which I do), then the editing process should be a breeze if not very productive. I’ve learned so much from the editors I’ve come in contact with. They have given me tips, tricks, ideas and support. They have in no way, tried to change my story.
I’ve read and heard a lot of authors out there that get pissed, leave the epublisher or what have you because they say the editor was trying to rewrite their story.
I don’t know how true that is. It could be perception.
For example, did the editor ask you to show not tell? (I’m a victim of that). Did he/she ask you to use less passive verbs? (Guilty as charged too). Did he/she suggest that a character respond a certain way to an action that made more sense and was more believable? Did he/she suggest that you get some facts straight in your story, so when readers read your book, they won’t toss it across the room, because they do not believe the storyline?
I know when we write our stories and send them out, it’s like giving birth. These are our babies. We hold the words we put on paper (or computer screen) as written in stone. Not to be touched, yadda, yadda, yadda.
The above examples are not changing your story, it’s making it better, stronger, tighter.
Changing it would be, your main character is a rich tycoon looking for simplicity in his life and your editor comes along and says “Hey, why not make him homeless and he realizes through the story that the best things in life are free.”
That would be changing your story because now the plot, the experience of your character, doesn’t gel with your original story line. It’s been compromised .
Changing passive to active voice doesn’t do that. But it does put more punch in your story.
So yes, I hate getting my manuscript back and seeing all those “Track Changes” lines all over the place or seeing the passive verb “was” highlighted throughout my story. But in the end once I make the change and go with some of the suggestions (and don’t get me wrong, there are some things in your story worth fighting for, so stand your ground with your editor if you think you’re right), my story reads better and it’s as tight as a drum!