Sunday, November 16, 2014

Edits, unexpectedly not as painful as previous encounters

I've noticed that people don't talk much about the editing process. When I was in academics, editing was absolutely the worst part of the process. People were mean and rude. Every comment was designed to question everything from your writing, to your methods, to your understanding of science in general. It wasn't pleasant.

Someone once called my work an "Unholy Conjugation." 

Yeah. That was constructive feedback. There were worse comments, more hurtful comments, and they went to live somewhere in my mind. So when I waited for my edit letter to arrive, it was more me waiting for the explosion to go off in my heart.

As much as I cared about my science, I care about my novel so much more. I didn't know if I could handle being ripped apart like that again. I expected editing to crack me open and pour out the broken little bits that were left of me. But when the letter came, I was pleasantly surprised. The suggestions: professional. The demeanor: helpful.

I was more than prepared to cry my eyeballs out (I'm a cryer, what can I say), but so far, it has only been things to make my manuscript stronger. I guess things have plenty of time to go straight to hell in a hand basket, but it's already so much better than all my other editing experiences.

In every profession there are parts that aren't the best part. The parts that everyone sort of scowls at, like how shoveling manure is part of owning horses. I was expecting to hate taking the feedback and turning it into something bigger, and that just isn't the case. It's great. I wish I had some more time, but hey, deadlines are something I do too. Also, I'm a writer. The more time a writer has, the more fiddling they're gonna do.

Right, and now it's back to work. And like I said, people don't talk about the editing process, so if you have questions, feel free to ask them in the comments. I'll respond by email if you have your account linked, and if not, response in the thread.


  1. I'm glad you're having a good experience with this publisher. Editing and giving/receiving feedback should be an uplifting experience. I'm sorry you've had bad experiences before. I ALWAYS try to make sure my client knows that my edits and comments/questions are for the benefit of the manuscript...that we're partners in making it better, not enemies. <3

  2. I'm a cryer too. I don't set out to be, but it just happens.

    There's no excuse for giving feedback so rudely other than to make yourself feel superior. Glad you got good feedback. And so awesome to hear you have an editor. You go girl!!

  3. Yeah the worrying about them are definitely almost worse than the actual edits. For the most part, anyway ;)

  4. The biggest problem I usually face when dealing with comments and editing is that even when I agree with the commenter, I'm usually at a loss as to how to fix the problem.

  5. I know what you mean on this one. The one story that I got published, I too dreaded getting the edit letter, and it threw me for a loop. Then I went back and read it again, and realized their suggestions were not only very helpful, but they were right. They helped me change that story from a very awkward love story into something about two people who needed each other finding each other.

    I'm glad you've had such good results from the editing letter too. ^_^ And I do remember when you got the "unholy conjugation" remark. Yikes.

  6. I've been lucky in my career so far, and only had good editing experiences. I guess I'm in for a really bad time sometime soon!

  7. Someone asked me the other day why some people are so mean and nasty. The important word here is SOME. For me, I think it's a reminder to appreciate all those friends, family, and strangers who take the time to be nice. Thanks for your wonderful post, Rena. I'm so glad the publisher was a good guy.


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