Having just finished what hopefully will be my last round of edits with “Claws Bared”, the second in the Blood of the Pride series, I feel compelled to sing the praises of those often-maligned people who carry the title of editor.
Many, many years ago when I worked as an editorial secretary for Penguin Books Canada I ran errands, got coffee/tea for, you name it, for the editors on staff. These poor men and women busted it out on multiple books each and every day dealing with everyone from brand-new first-time writers to old pros who knew the system and what went where.
But it wasn’t until I got onto the *other* side of the game that I realized just how much editors matter. When I sold “Blaze of Glory” to Samhain Publishing I met Sasha Knight – and she whipped me into shape with her first set of edits. To say they were cruel wouldn’t be doing them justice, they ripped open the story and shredded me to bits to the point that I wondered why she offered me a contract.
After I had a cuppa tea and finished whimpering I looked at her notes again and had to agree with all of them. There were plot holes, bad phrasing, ‘orrible headhopping here and there and let’s not even get into my overuse of exclamation marks.
But… she was right. Each and every bit I had to rewrite or correct made the story stronger and gave it more of a punch, making it a much better product by the end of the editing process. And with each book her harsh notes got a bit less and less which, I hope, showed I was improving in my writing.
When I sold “Blood of the Pride” to Carina Press I met Alissa Davis who did much of the same thing with the first run-through of my first book. With a firm but gentle hand she maneuvered me through the editing minefield to the point that the final product is head and shoulders above the manuscript I’d first submitted.
Editors – we need them. Whether you’re self-publishing or pursuing trade publishing you need an editor to stand back and assess your work without blinders on – I love my hubby greatly but I know he’s going to miss bits and pieces a trained editor won’t and can’t.
So… let me sing the praise of my editors, past present and future. With your help and guidance I’ve become a much better writer and hope to keep on improving my craft!
(have any special editors you’d like to sing about? drop them in the comments below!)