Saturday, December 05, 2009

BOM: The Editing

I don't actually remember much about the editing, which probably means that the experience wasn't so bad . . . either that, or I've blocked it all out. :-) I do remember being asked to trim some of Briley's dealings with the jury--explaining voir dire, for example, for fear of putting my reader to sleep, so I was happy to do that. But not too much, because all of those things are important considerations for a lawyer.

I also remember being asked to cut some scenes that were too heavy-handed: for instance, I'd written an early scene were Briley and Timothy were watching Animal Planet, and Briley was crying through a dog rescue story. I wanted to show that this all-business woman was compassionate, but my editor thought it was too obvious, and she was right. So I was happy to cut it. (Most of the time, if I do something obvious like that, it's too much and I usually suspect that it's too much.)

But editing is good for the soul, and for the story.

Tomorrow: reviews and reader reaction.



Mocha with Linda said...

It would take a lot of confidence to be your editor! Not that you're a diva, but because your writing is so good! I can't imagine how it would be to work with an author who didn't have the sweet spirit you do. And from your end, I would imagine it could be difficult at times to be firm about something you feel strongly about (that the editor wants to cut) without coming across as an overbearing diva!

Most readers have no idea of the hard work and sweat going on behind the scenes! What a privilege to have a peek!

Susan R said...

Angie's writing IS good because she works so hard at it. But like every writer it's a process to get it to that point. Once, before our lives went in different directions, I was Angie's first reader, which means that I saw drafts before her official editor did.

What it takes to edit or be edited, I think, is simply an understanding of each role. Angie is confident of her abilities, yet with a humble spirit that let her be open to another viewpoint. Because I didn't write the work, I could see things she couldn't. I didn't know what she was trying to say, so I read what she really said.

On my part, as it would be for an editor, too, I never forgot whose book it was. Not mine, so while I offered my perspective or response, in the end it had to be Angie's decision on what to include or cut or whatever was necessary.

The same process goes on in the official levels. An author does need to be certain of what she is trying to communicate and the story she sees, but also open to where another's input may enrich already good work.

Just my thoughts on having watched it happen through several books. :-)