Words of Wisdom

Edits! Edits! Edits! Okay now as a author, I know these blasted things are apart of my job. But I have had three different editors in not even a two year time span. Each one was different. I thought I was learning from them, which I did but now with my latest one, I’m finding I’m doing so many things wrong. I feel like a nweb. I’m confused and frustrated.
I’ve had that authors need to have thick skin. I don’t know if that is true or not. I don’t know what to think. I love writing. I love learning different things but now I’m swimming in a pool of self doubt.

Maybe it’s because I thought as I grew as a writer the edits would come easier. I was wrong? Now I don’t know what to think.

Sel;f doubt is NOT something an author should dwell on. Help y’all I need some words of wisdom today. I was looking forward to blogging again. The women here were so kind to even offer to give up days of their own. Then I got the edits and my heart sank.

Will anyone out there answer my call for help?
I hope so.

Big Hugs,
Raven

15 thoughts on “Words of Wisdom”

  1. I’ve had one editor but I have been in writing groups and heard the way the editors there do business. A lot of the rules that those editors gave didn’t all fall in line with the editor that I had. Bad or good? I don’t know but I do know that writing is a lot harder than what people seem to think. We all did that, didn’t we? We thought that maybe it had to do with proper sentence structure and possibly spelling. Then once we got edited, we found out quick it was a whole nother ballgame. That’s not even counting the struggles of the business itself.

    Just hang in there. Period. That’s all you can do. Go with the rules of each editor and when your work is finished, take a month or so away, go back and read it and then see which is the best. In the end you will find things that make sense, stay with you or things that just don’t apply.

    This business to me is like having a child. Your never given a manual of what IS exactly the correct way…just expected to figure it out. It’s frustrating as hell but in the end can we stop? No, we keep on writing and no one will ever really know what we went through just to write the book, get it out there and then get it read. Well, no one except other writers lol.

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    1. Thanks Casey. I looked at the edits and I was just like what’s this, yanno? She said I wrote this story like a screenplay. I just feel so out of the loop. Editors all have their own way, I know that now. It doesn’t mean I’m still not as confused as ever.
      Yes, we keep writing. We write because its in our blood. Thanks for your words of wisdom, I truly appreciate it.
      Hugs,
      Raven

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    2. I did. Over the weekend we had a long chat. I hope we’re on the right page now. Thanks to all of you for your support. Big Hugs,
      Raven

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  2. Hi Raven,
    I know how you feel with this post. I have had two very different books published and two very different editors. The first times I got my edits back, I was dumbfounded at the amount of editing. I honestly thought, gosh, my book must suck! Why didn’t they just take the concept and re-write it the way they liked.
    It’s so hard sometimes. To make it harder, I am Australian and some of my work has to be Americanised, which is not necessarily a bad thing, just very hard for me to write 🙂

    As for authors having a thick skin, I disagree with that. We are authors, we create worlds and people and situations that would never exits without us, so we have to feel. We have to have thin skin to absorb emotion, what’s going on in the world. We need that. So how do we find a balance between that and the reality of editing and publishing?

    Easy – they are two different worlds. Two different sides of the one coin. The Goddess and the God 🙂 Without each other there would be unbalance, together they create unity.

    I know edits are hard, but as CH said, hang in there. Create, learn and grow. When things are different for each editor, just know they are different for a reason and try to incorporate it.

    Good luck mate and another great blog,
    Cheers
    Connie

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    1. Thanks so much, Connie. It is hard but you’re right. All editors are different and even though I’m lost I’ll keep on moving because if I don’t I’ll never grow as a writer.

      Thanks,
      Raven

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  3. Hey, Raven. Don’t be discouraged. Keep in mind that both you and the editors have one common goal: to sell your book. That means making it the best it can be. Keep in mind that most edits are a bigger deal to the author, whose baby is being changed, than to a reader, who won’t notice a comma being put in or taken out. Yes, that’s simplifying it, but unless you feel strongly about the changes (in which case, tactfully discuss it with your editor) go with the flow and make the revisions. Unless you know they’re wrong. I had one editor who made punctuation changes that were totally incorrect, and another whose main goal was to show me how much smarter he was than me (he wasn’t). But most of the editors I’ve had have been wonderful and improved my story with great suggestions. Hang in there. Your story will be great!

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    1. Thanks, Pat. It’s a weird feeling though. I know she’s helping me. I’ll figure it out, swallow my feeling and get it done. I need to read more I guess. I just feel like everything I’m doing is wrong.

      Thanks for stopping by.
      Hugs,
      Raven

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  4. Hi, Raven,
    Please do not let this get you down. I’ve been there, but the editor who did my stuff was a good friend who had read and loved my fan fiction, but when she learned how to incorporate English Grammar, my writing suddenly turned ‘too dry’ and, like this one said to you, ‘Your novel sounds like a movie script’. I learned the show-don’t-tell policy from her, but it took me some time before I could find my feet again. We’re still good friends and we’ve learned a lot from each other. The important thing is to keep doing what you’re doing and…remember this…everyone has different styles and tastes. Don’t let them mess with your style because that’s your fingerprint to your work. If they are having a problem with style, read over what they say and just skim from those comments what you feel is necessary to improve yourself as a writer. Don’t take everything they say as gospel. They are not you, and cannot write your story for you. The tough skin part is a bit of a conundrum, I like what Connie said about having a thin skin to absorb emotion. Just remember that everyone is going to have a different take on your work, even editors. Just go with what you think will make it work better for your story, and if they are not ‘getting you’, skip it and move on to the next comment. (Maybe keep those comments in the back of your mind to meditate on later?) Some may get you and others won’t. Different strokes.

    I learned from my friend’s criticism, though it was very hard. I also determined that my love for writing had been purified through fire as the end result. No one is perfect, even Stephen King can stand some improvement, or Anne Rice. If we stop improving, we’re dead in the water. Push forward and don’t give up. You’ll do just fine!
    In perfect love and perfect trust,
    Myristica

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    1. Thanks for writing. My readers tell me they love reading my work because they feel like they’re right in the action. I don’t see a problem with that. I thought it was a good thing. Sometimes when I’m reading I skip over all the boring crap to find the action. Some books you feel as if your apart of them. I like that. Now I’m confused, I’m not even gonna lie. I know she’s helping me but wow, it hurts when someone doesn’t get you.
      Thanks and Merry Meet New friend.
      Blessing,
      Raven

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  5. Style rules change between houses too.. what’s good for one, is bad for another. Over time even the successful styles change. Write what you feel. Make sure your spelling and grammar are where you want them. Imagine each sentence to fulfill it’s place in the story, that it does what it’s supposed to.. then only change things if you really want to be pub’ed with that house.

    NJ

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    1. Thanks, NJ. I’m with only one house. Maybe I’m just overwhelmed by all the edits and changes. I do know I haven’t written since she blasted me. Today I’m gonna get it done. It’s a learning experience, right?

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  6. I’ve only had one editor being fairly new to the publishing world, but I’ve been writing for a long time. In my case I’ve been lucky to have an editor that is also a writer. That coupled with her experience has made it a pleasure to work with her.

    As NJ said above what works for one publisher doesn’t necessarily work for another. I’ve found what works best for me is stepping back. When I receive a manuscript back w/edits I push back the writer and pull the reader/editor out. It’s difficult to do sometimes, but being able to separate the two has been my saving grace. I’m passionate about my writing, but sometimes you need to let the logic take over.

    Hang in there and work with your editor. If you have questions never be afraid to ask them. Creating a working relationship with your editor is like any other relationship. There are ups and downs. Just remember each editor is as unique as each writer or reader.

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    1. Thanks, Jesse. Today I’m gonna get my act together and get it done. I’m a hyper sensitive gal but I have to figure my editor knows more than me.
      Thanks for commenting and giving me your words of wisdom.
      Its all much appreciated.
      Blessings,
      Raven

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  7. Raven,
    Can you go to her and tell her how she is making you feel? I mean there are two sides to every story AND then sometimes there is no side to anything. She maybe like a doctor, her bedside manner might bite the big one lol. Seriously, she might not be making a balance OR you may need to discuss the changes MORE before you bend to them.

    I know when my editor for Bound by Blood got a hold of me I was scared to pieces. I knew I had mistakes…I am the worst for thinking I did SOMETHING wrong there lol. The first thing she said was something like this…

    “Go through and check over my changes. If you feel like it won’t work then tell me why. But don’t argue me on punctuation and Grammar. I know those lol”

    In other words, before she had me add or take away ANYTHING, she wanted to know WHY it was there or NOT there in the first place.

    She had a good beside manner. She explained why something was sick but then praised me (not kissy praise but professional) of what I did do good.

    She even had me tell her where I saw the series going that way she didn’t suggest changing anything that would affect that.

    AND you could just need a break. Tell her your overwhelmed and need a few days away from it just to digest everything. Sometimes we NEED that.

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  8. A thick skin is a must because as an author you are going to get rejections, bad reviews and editors who are going to make you want to bash them in the head with their own keyboard! That aside, there are good editors and bad ones, just like there are good publishers and bad ones. As far as editors go, I have been fortunate in the two who have edited my work.

    The first, Jill Noble from NRP is a tough editor, but fair and honest. The first work she edited of mine, I just sat there and cried like a big-ass baby. I don’t think there was an entire paragraph that wasn’t red! But I’ve learned from her and that is the most important thing.

    The second is a member of this group…Bo…I won’t mention any names! LOL Bo is a tough editor too, but her editing style is completely different than Jill’s. When I opened the work Bo had edited for me, I read the first page, closed the file and decided I needed to be rested and in the right frame of mind to get into her edits and comments. Now I am about 20 pages into the edits and I see she is right on with the comments and corrections. I am learning from her too.

    I think that is the most important thing with an editor. Are you learning to be a better writer from you editor? If the answer is yes, then you have a good editor. If the answer is no, then I’d suggest looking elsewhere.

    Rie McGaha…fantasy that keeps you up
    http://www.riemcgaha.com

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