Thursday, June 4, 2009

In Praise of Editors

I've been working all week on revisions for my next erotic romance novella. This story required a lot of reorganization to make it more of an arc, rather than leaning to the episodic side. This is something my very talented editor, Alicia Rasley caught. She also asked me to change a few other details that when finished, really made the manuscript shine. I love working with such a talented editor. Aside from making my work better, I learn so much. Alicia is no ordinary editor, though. She's a teacher and a talented writer herself. If you've never heard her speak, pick up her book, The Power of Point of View.

Aside from Alicia, I had one editor at another publisher who really made me work! And my books were better for her suggestions. She didn't sugar-coat anything. In fact, when one of my characters had a reaction the editor didn't buy, her comment was bullsh#*&! Conversely, when she loved something, she told me so, and that was like the gods were smiling on me!

I've also had the misfortune to work with a very novice editor who had hardly any changes at all on a 300 page manuscript, and those were mostly line edits only. Needless to say, I'm not terribly proud of that book. In fact, I'd kind of like to forget it! But even my experience with that editor taught me something - it taught me when to cut bait!

I can honestly say that each and every book and story I've written and revised has been a learning experience and hopefully, I'm getting better with each book. What about you? Do you always follow editorial suggestions? Do you buck all suggestions, take it all to heart or something in between?


Tommy said...

A good editor whom you can trust is a pearl beyond price. As a career journalist now turned to fiction and erotic fiction, I miss the checks and balances of having an editor in the next office.

Here's a humorous piece I wrote on editors and writers, based on true experiences, which you may enjoy.

Dara Edmondson said...

Thanks for sharing that, Tommy. It is a funny piece.

Terry Odell said...

I agree - a good editor is golden. And any author who thinks getting a manuscript back with no edits means they're a fantastic writer should think again. It more likely means they need a better editor.

One of my editors was from Australia - we had a LOT of discussions about idiomatic English, but she was always willing to listen to my thoughts both on American usage, and whether I agreed with some of her other suggestions.