Saturday, 23 November 2013

Editing, from the Writer's Perspective

This morning I got an email from an editor I respect and value. I can't tell you what she said, but what I can tell you is that with one sentence she restored my faith in myself. Two years ago, an editing hatchet job completely destroyed my confidence in my writing and I was a gibbering wreck. I know why it was done and in this instance I do not blame the editor but the publisher's house style. The editor was doing her job. I will be honest, no one could do that to me now. With more experience, I would refuse a contract rather than have someone rewrite my book in a house style that failed me.

I have been published for three years now. Working with many publishers and editors has been a steep learning curve. I can't deny I learnt a lot from that editor as I have from every editor I've worked with, but no other experience has ever left me close to a nervous breakdown. I hope as time goes on my writing improves and I continue to learn and develop from the people I work with.

There is a lot of criticism of editing in our genre, but from the user's side I see it improving all the time. I see people with respect and understanding honing and improving the stories that are published. I admit, there have been other editors I'd never work with again, but that's just because their style doesn't fit mine. Finding an editor that fits you is like wearing clothes that make you feel like a million pounds.

The next time I see Lynn West from Dreamspinner I'm going to give her the biggest hug I can for what she gave me back today - my confidence.


  1. You've only been published for three years? Wow, you have been working hard. I thought you'd been published for at least twice as long as that.

    Nothing much to say about editors. I have worked well (from my POV at least) with all of mine and most of them seemed to like working with me. I guess I have been very lucky.

    1. Yep October 2010 I first got published.

      I've worked with many editors and they're all good people. This was just the experience from hell.