Sunday, June 21, 2009

my editor and revision

So I’m revising a manuscript now with my editor. It’s my second round of editing. Heard that editors no longer edit? Heard that your manuscript won’t get the attention it once did by the acquiring editor at a publishing house because she only has time for promotion, sales, more acquisitions, and long leisurely lunches with agents and book buyers etc? Not true. At least not true for me. And not true for the many other writers I know who are published by various publishers. I was talking to a big-time, award-winning author (one of those) just the other day and she said she was on her second round of edits with her editor and hoped she’d be done after one more. Even she does edits with her editor. I find that comforting.

So here’s the secret that’s not a secret. Even experienced writers, after they have rewritten and rewritten and rewritten a manuscript, will have an editor who makes, often, very good points about how to improve the manuscript. This makes me happy. Every chance to get it right makes me happy, and if a friend or agent or editor can come up with points that improve the work I’m grateful.

This thing that we do is very, very hard. We’re making something, a whole world, a specific story in that world, out of nothing. We have vision. Oh yeah. But it’s not 20/20 and, especially in those first drafts, we are seeing our world and story as a blurry version of itself. It gets clearer and clearer but that is a long, difficult process. I’ll take any help I can get and say thank you very much.

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