Saturday, June 4, 2011

Disagreeing With Editors

Thank you for your comments,Christopher, Tessa, Julie, and Nan. I urge viewers to read the comments at the bottom of the posts.

Editors, even line editors need to like your book or they will not do a good job editing. I know I could never edit vampire, paranormal, or sci-fi. They scare me to death. EAsops Fables frightened me so much I refused to go to school until the teacher burned the book.

Other editors have hang-ups like insisting you use an adverb after a quotation instead of "said". Now my instructor in college regarded "said" as the best qualifier because it isn't noticed by the reader. If you use words such as 'timidly,' the reader gets distracted. That is where I am with the editor of my book, " Andy's Shock."
Some editors are comma freaks, some even try to re-write entire passages, losing your "Voice" completely.
Even if the editor has nothing positive to say, he/she is doing her job.

You can protest to the publisher if you don't like your editor, but that may result in a returned contract.

Please tell me about your experiences with disagreeing with your editor


Cellophane Queen said...

Oh no! A book burning?

I've disagreed with my editor when they did no editing at all. I knew there had to be SOMETHING to change. I asked about it (when returning the ms with my own additional edits), and he admitted that he "forgot."

Roseanne Dowell said...

I experienced having a book returned because I refused to have an LY word after every said. EX: Jack jumped up and down. "I'm so excited," he said happily - to me I showed that he was happy, why add it? or "Go away," he yelled loudly -not sure about you but if he yelled it meant loudly. I'm serious every single said had an adverb attached to it. The editor complained to the owner and the owner pulled my contract, which was fine with me. I refused to put my name on something so horribly written. My editors at Muse are super. If I explain why my character speaks the way he/she does, usually they'll let something stand. I do have a bad habit of using "So" with some of my characters and after a few it becomes redudant and boring. I agree to remove most of them.

Unknown said...

Hi Joan, This is a very interesting post. Editors, when they're good they're really good, but when .... To me, a good editor respects your 'writer's voice' and focuses on the flow of content and the grammar. I have been fortunate in my editors. I did have one that was extremely POV focus and I drove her crazy. But, since we respect each other, we always managed to come to an agreement as to what was best for the reader. Hope you're having fun. We miss you at the book club. We really tore in Iris Murdoch. I'll tell you more when I see you.

Jenna Storm said...

Thanks for the post. It shows how different editing experiences can be for authors.

Wendy said...

Obviously 'editors' who have hangups like the ones you mentioned, aren't real editors. A reputable publisher wouldn't employ them. There is a right and wrong way with grammar. The overuse of adverbs, e.g., is wrong.

In a perfect world, an author trusts her editor and should never need to disagree with her. If the editor needs to complain about something in the writing it is likely a reader will too. The author needs to make the changes and say 'thank you'. In a perfect world. :)