Roundtable Discussion: Working With An Editor

Today we hope our bloggers can provide a glimpse of what it’s like to work with an editor to prepare a novel for publication. We answer two questions about the editing process: what’s the best part of working with an editor and what’s the hardest part?

lindaicon

Linda Joy Singleton

Q: What’s the best part of working with an editor?

It’s all about editing style. I enjoy having an editor who will respect my work, encourage me and offer good advice. I’ve had one editor who was so in love with her own style that she changed words on almost EVERY page so the book was her voice and not mine. I’ve had an editor who sent me a single-spaced 7 page list of editing changes, and although I didn’t agree at first, after a week of chill-time I found the suggestions very helpful and I did most of them.

Also, I’ve had an editor who was very sweet, changed almost nothing of my work. You know the one I respected most? The one who gave me lots of difficult edits, because he really worked to improve my book. The really sweet editor was easy to work with but that book was more flawed when it was published.

Q: What’s the hardest part of working with an editor?

The hardest part is when an editor gives vague edits like “fix the second half of the book.” That just makes things more confusing. Also I’ve had one editor who I worked with for three years and she only replied to my emails or phone calls about three times. I felt I didn’t matter at all to her and that her time was too valuable to waste on me. My more recent editors have been great about returning my messages–which makes me very grateful.

joiconJo Whittemore

Q: What’s the best part of working with an editor?

The best part is having someone who can pick up on all the details that you would normally miss (i.e., whether a certain curse word is okay for an age group; if a certain character would REALLY act a certain way) that will end up making such a big impact on the book.

Q: What’s the hardest part of working with an editor?

The hard part is working up the nerve to disagree with your editor on a revision point. I mean, these people EDIT for a living. They are the editing gods. But sometimes, an author has a very good reason for wanting to keep something the way it is and needs to speak up.

pjicon4P. J. Hoover

Q: What’s the best part of working with an editor?

The best part of working with an editor is actually having the opportunity to work with an editor! This means someone believes in your book and wants to help you make it as good as possible. Editors have a way of seeing things so objectively. I credit this to reading a ton and being able to recognize problems and knowing how to fix them. The most eye-opening experiences I’ve had in writing to date have been when I’ve received feedback from editors. It’s priceless.

Q: What’s the hardest part of working with an editor?

The hardest part of working with an editor is mastering patience. Editors are people, too, and have their own schedules and their own priorities. These are almost certainly not the same as yours, and thus lots and lots of patience is needed while waiting for feedback. If anyone has hints on mastering patience, please let me know!

We’ll have answers from more of our bloggers tomorrow…

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1 Comment

Filed under Parker Peevyhouse

One response to “Roundtable Discussion: Working With An Editor

  1. It’s so helpful to see what others write for “The hardest part”! Once again, it’s that old we’re not in this alone thing!

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