How To Survive Your Editor!
Before you submit your work to an editor, it may be worthwhile to take a breath and remember what you’re hoping to achieve from having someone else with no emotional investment read your work.
As an author, I’m guilty of this behavior myself. You invest a lot of blood, sweat, and tears on your work and your first reaction is to defend it like a momma bear defending her cub.
- My writing is what? No way!
- You don’t understand where I’m going with this? You obviously don’t get it.
- My characters lack what? Maybe you didn’t read it properly.
- I need to go back and rewrite some of it? Please, I’m totally getting a new editor.
If any of these thoughts or words sound familiar, then you’re probably a little guilty of this too. It’s understandable. You put a lot of yourself into your writing, and the last thing you want to see or hear is someone tearing it apart.
Sharing your work with someone else is never an easy process.
Below are some different ways that you can help yourself prepare before you start working with an editor.
Remember, you’ll come through it, and the process will help you improve, evolve and grow as an author.
- Establish Your Goals – Deep revisions, developmental issues, grammar and spelling, plot structure, character development, what are you looking for? Can you handle someone that’s brutally honest or would you prefer a gentle-gentle approach to your editing? Ensure that your editor understands what your emotional and professional goals are before you head into the editing process.
- Choose The Right Editor – It’s hard to look at your own work impartially. You also need to ensure that you choose an editor that understands what you’re hoping to achieve and where the book is going. If you aren’t clicking with your editor, then it might be time to talk it through or worst-case scenario find a new one.
- Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself – Once you write ‘the end’ it’s an amazing feeling, but now is not the time to send it to your editor. Take a few days off and clear your head. Go back to your manuscript and read it through again. Not all at once and not in a rush. Take it chapter by chapter and do it carefully. When you are 100% satisfied and happy, now it’s time to send it to your editor.
- Be Proactive – Not Defensive – It’s one thing to go back and forth with your editor, but another to get defensive about the things which they suggest. Talk it through with them and if you don’t understand something, then ask them to explain why or how. You don’t have to agree with everything they say, but there is a reason you’re having your work edited in the first place.
- Learn from It – Your editor is going to make a lot of notes and suggestions throughout the editing process. Absorb everything they say like a sponge and learn from it. Ask them to write notes and explain why. It will help you grow as an author.
- Stay Positive – It could be painful. There’s no escaping it, especially for first-time If you’re going to struggle with a blunt in your face truth from your editor, then let your editor know right from the start. Try to take away everything you can from the experience and walk away from it a better author!
If you have any questions about editing, or you’re looking for an editor, then check out our editor’s page here. We have a wonderful and professional team of editors with many years of combined experience. If you’re ready to take your book to the next level, then contact us now!