Thursday, May 05, 2011
BOM: The Editing
Photo: St. Simons is famous for its marshes.
I'll be honest--I'm always a wee bit nervous when an editor tells me she's hiring a freelancer to be my editor--especially if I've never worked with that editor before. Some editors are marvelous; others make you want to tear your hair out.
(The ones who make me want to rip out my hair are the ones who change things not for a viable reason, but because of their own personal preference. Hey! Whose name is on the cover?) But honestly, I haven't run into many editors who frustrate me to that extent.
Anyway--my editor at Howard told me she was hiring Traci DePree to be my editor. Now I know Traci as an excellent writer, and she's a lovely person. But I'd never had her as an editor, so I held my breath and sent her the manuscript.
And . . . (drum roll)--she did a WONDERFUL job. A good editor obeys the maxim of "first, do no harm," and then they make the manuscript BETTER, which is exactly what Traci did. You see, by the time a writer has gone through a manuscript six or seven times, she develops blind spots, so you desperately need a pair of "fresh eyes" to evaluate your copy. And Traci did a great job of helping me tighten my prose, plus she genuinely liked the story. (I suppose an editor who didn't like your book could easily work on it, but it certainly helps if the editor understands your characters and has sympathy for them--and you.)
All that to say this: the editing was a painless affair, with no histrionics or panic attacks. I can't wait to have Traci edit my next book. :-)
Tomorrow: Q&A, so if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below!