Editor Edits

paper trashYou write a book, you rewrite the book several times, you send it to a bunch of folks to read, you absorb their comments, you decide you’ve got your final product, you send it to your agent, your agent makes comments, you absorb those comments and finally it goes to your publisher.

Eventually, the manuscript lands in the hands of an editor who reads every word, analyses every phrase and comes back to you with more comments.

In my opinion, the pages and comments that come back from your editor are the pages that require the hardest work.

For every other set of comments, you as the writer can choose to accept or reject any of those comments. Some comments you will know immediately are spot on. You incorporate them with gratitude. Other comments aren’t so easy to hear. Some you accept, others you reject because they don’t fit your vision, perhaps you don’t trust the reviewer or perhaps you’ve decided as the writer, the comments are just wrong.

But comments from an editor are different. This is the voice of your publisher. These are changes direct from the person who will turn your chick into the bird ready to leave the nest for good. You’re not as free to ignore these comments and suggestions as you would any other. These comments, at the very least, should be strongly considered.

So you work with them, you wrestle with them perhaps. Rewrites should be fun. But to me, the rewrites that happen as the result of an editors comments have an extra added pressure to them, and aren’t quite as much fun as others.

The good news is, these rewrites could be the final rewrites before your book finally makes it to the shelves. So we wrestle with them, we dedicate ourselves to them and we try to answer every question the editor has. Hopefully, the comments, no matter how difficult they may be, will lead to a better book.


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