I realize that some writers dread the edit – I’m the type that looks forward to it! I love it when my editor picks apart my prose, my grammar, my dialog.
I love a good dragon-powered edit from my BFE (best friend/editor), Shawn MacKenzie. See Shawn’s editor-at-large page. If you want her new book (and you should!) click Dragons for Beginners.
Hold your breath and cringe
The writer holds his breath once he sends an MS to his editor.
The writer cringes when she sees “Your MS Critique Letter” in her inbox.
What about us editors?
Yeah, we suffer too.
I have been bitched out, effed up and down, slammed against the internet wall, told, “Never contact me again,” and, “You don’t know what you’re doing because my Aunt ______ loves my book!”
Why do so many writers play the “aunt” card?
Just a few curse words
I had a writer curse me out because I wouldn’t give a carte blanche and a recommendation on her publishing company (I edited her book, but I knew nothing about her publishing company).
A nice reply
Friend Denise Hisey (who has an awesome blog, you need to check it out) had some very nice things to say about my recent critique letter to her.
What Denise Hisey said: Criticism can be hard to take. I didn’t feel like you were criticizing though, I felt you were helping. I’ve grown too much in other areas of my life not to grow in this one, too! I may never sell a thing, but I want to improve as a writer just the same.
Ah, Denise. Your email was like a tender spring breeze among the apple blossoms.
Denise also said, about editing and editors: Yes, I imagine it could be nerve wracking on your end, too!
You got that right.
I don’t just throw editor-flavored poo at you to make you feel bad.
I throw good poo at you – based on what I’ve learned about editing and proofreading, from reading blogs about editing and proofreading, and from reading blogs and industry articles about publishing, books, and writing.
And remember, I read grammar, punctuation, and style manuals for fun.
I hold my breath and cringe too
Every time I send a critique letter or a mass of comments on an MS, I shrink from what might come back from an “offended” writer.
But then I get a great testimonial, like from Elizabeth H. Cottrell. Elizabeth sometimes has me edit her non-fiction articles.
What Elizabeth said: Not only did [Karen] get the work back to me quickly, but the critique she provided was thorough, intelligent, and highly professional. She is very knowledgeable about proper and effective writing in general and blogging in particular, so her suggestions added clarity and energy to my articles. It’s an investment in the honing of my own writing craft.
Elizabeth and I developed a friendship, and we commiserate on many subjects (not just writing related).
So, your editor
How will you respond to your editor the next time?
Shawn MacKenzie. She’s an editor extraordinaire if ever there was one.
Shawn MacKenzie had her first Dragon encounter when she was four years old and happened upon a copy of The Dragon Green by J. Bissell-Thomas. That was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. Author of The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011), and Dragons for Beginners (Llewellyn, 2012), she is an editor and writer of sci-fi/fantasy. Her fiction has been published in Southshire Pepper-Pot, 2010 Skyline Review, and as a winner of the 2010 Shires Press Award for Short Stories. Shawn is an avid student of myth, religion, philosophy, and animals, real and imaginary, great and small. Her ramblings can be found on her blog, MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest and at her web site.
Denise Hisey. I don’t like to define Denise by “survivor,” because she’s so much more than that.
Denise Hisey is a survivor of chronic, severe childhood abuse. Asking for help didn’t come easy, but she highly recommends it. Her memoir is still stuck in her head, but screams to be set free! She lives in Washington State with her husband and enjoys riding her motorcycle when weather allows. Her growing family is her pride and joy! Find her blogging at Inspired 2 Ignite or reading on Goodreads.
Elizabeth H. Cottrell. Elizabeth is my most-fave client ever.
Elizabeth H. Cottrell, a.k.a. RiverwoodWriter, is a Connection Curator, collecting and organizing information and resources about the power of connection to present them in ways that provide meaning and value. She is a passionate student of everything related to life’s essential connections: with God, with self, with others, and with nature.
Elizabeth shares her findings, inspiration, and guidance at Heartspoken.com. Elizabeth also teaches small business connection strategies at RiverwoodWriter.com.
Connect with Elizabeth on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. – Aristotle
True friends stab you in the front. – Oscar Wilde
Opening Photo – Tana Jung via Photobucket.com.
Quotes from BrainyQuote.com.