Why does editing always feel like a battlefield? Editors are not the enemy.
Yep you read right, I`m writing about editor. With my 2nd book Dance of Love, as I went through editing notes from one of the senior editors, I had to remind myself that editors are not the enemy. Sure the process can be painful *cringe* and at times seem silly especially if there`s cultural and international differences (I`m from South Africa, my editors were from Alaska/US).
There`s a lot to be explained during content edits and also to see whether the average reader would understand certain references if not from SA. In SA we ascribe more to the Queens English but because we also have a lot of exposure to American television, we can navigate without too much hassle. Though I have to add, I was mildly surprised when SA comedian Trevor Noah weren`t able to make the link that a napkin (use in the States) and a serviette (use in SA and UK) was basically the same thing, only named differently. Details like this are pointed out during the editing process. Fun stuff. (Is my sarcasm showing? *wink*)
During senior edits more fine tuning are usually done. By this stage you`ve gone through about 3 rounds of content editing and 2/3 line edits. With my first novel I`d done about 4 rounds of content edits and then line edits. This is understandable since it was my first ever ‘grown up’ book and as a newbie author I`m a rookie when it came to what a polished novel looked like. So my second book needed less work in certain areas and a bit finer tuning in others. Doesn`t mean it was less painful *pulls face* because if truth be told, I`m a bit of a pantser as opposed to a plotter and sometimes a hybrid of the two.
And while I`m talking about pain, let me just say as much as I love being an author I absolutely dislike editing. It`s definitely the work part of writing. BUT because I love writing, because I want to be taken seriously as an author and because I simply don`t want to get thrown with virtual rotten eggs and vegetables, I will endure it, embrace it and eventually come to love it. In my writing journey I`ve come to the simple realization that editors are there to enhance your story, take it to the next level. I`ve saved all their suggestions since I`ve started to write in earnest. And when I`m working on a new project, I would when self-editing, go to those folders and then go through my manuscript.
Don`t get me wrong, I`m not completely there yet and I don`t think I`ll ever be. Some of my stories will probably be stronger in one department than others. I think that`s just a testament to the type of person, personality and writing style you have.
When I look at Falling for Mr. Unexpected and Dance of Love, the stories differ considerably even in writing style. And that`s because the main character`s voice is younger in Dance of Love than in Falling for Mr. Unexpected. I think that impacts how you write, and how you`ll edit.
Receiving editing comments always conjures up those memories of teachers making corrections in red pens through my homework. I never liked it. It always brought a sense of shame (as extreme as that sounds) because your work weren’t ‘good enough’, you weren`t ‘smart enough’. And I guess as I grew up and worked on not getting corrections, the less red in my work, the ‘smarter’ I became. Throughout my scholastic years I did become ‘smarter’ or as I like to say ‘book-smart’. But I also became ‘street-smart’, if I can call it that.
I realized that not all teachers would think certain things needed correcting whereas others were demons with their red pens. And as I went on to university, the same principle applied. I once cum lauded an assignment not because I was so ‘smart’ but because I was ‘street-smart’. After careful deduction I concluded that my professor loved the ‘sound’ of his own ideas and because of time constrictions (exams were looming) I decided to skip on my notions on a particular subject and basically gifted him his opinions right back to him. Of course written beautifully as if they were mine*ha ha ha* Easiest A I`ve ever gotten in my life!
This is how I view editing. So far I only have experience with Decadent Publishing`s style of editing. I`m sure other houses have different or similar styles. Because I`m a reader as well as an author, I spot the differences between books. Some things Decadent would never allow to appear in their books, I notice in others (big/small traditional, self-and e-publishers).
Editing therefore, is a subjective game, like most things in life. The crux then lies in conforming to the house you`re contracted with and to not take every suggestion (because that`s what it ultimately is) as a personal attack or ‘what I`ve written isn`t good enough’. It`s enough, you`re enough, you got a publishing contract BEFORE the edits. Now buckle down and make that baby shine! *grin*
All the best fellow writers of this wonderful journey!
Inge Saunders fell in love with books when she started reading romance novels with her grandmother. Intrigued by the worlds books unlocked, it was inevitable she would take pen to paper.
At age fourteen she wrote her first novel which wasn`t such a roaring success according to her brother. Not discouraged, she realized something fundamental: as a writer you can only write about what interests you, a principle she still upholds in adulthood.
When she`s not writing about that ‘inexplicable attraction’ she`s reading almost every sub-genre in romance out there, spending time with friends and family and taking hikes in her hometown`s National Karoo Park.
She forms part of Romance writers` Organization of South Africa (ROSA) and currently has two books out with Decadent Publishing; Falling for Mr. Unexpected and new release Dance of Love.
Other Sites: http://ingesaunders.goodreads.com
Inge Saunder's new release:
DANCE OF LOVE
All roads lead to Rome when Ashley Solomons embarks on fulfilling her dream to become a world-class dancer. But there’s one person who stands in her way. “It`s a no from me,” Antonio Machiavelli.
When Antonio’s auditions for a lead principal end in wintry Cape Town, the last thing he expects is to have more than a knee-jerk reaction to an audition. Ashley not only verbally challenges him, but also translates her fire and cheekiness into an edge of your seat performance.
Can Antonio keep his distance from Ashley? Can Ashley focus on fulfilling her dream of becoming a lead principal? Or will love have its way?