Saturday, May 16, 2015

Editors, not just there to cut your words

While I did know an editor was important to clean up my dropped commas I was more afraid (yes, afraid) of my story getting cut to shreds. My only point of reference was the stories of Stephen King hating his editor and his stories being gutted-in his opinion. I already write lean, I didn't want anyone cutting my words. Still it was clear I needed someone to go in and fix-hopefully without cutting anything. So I bit the bullet and did it. 

Although it was a painful experience to see all the things I've done wrong. While one of them did the job it felt like he simply punched the clock on it and hey that's really fine and completely understandable. Although he said he was good with editing erotic romance the same way you don't want a beta reader who only reads romance to read your sci-fi novel I really don't think it was a positive experience for me because it wasn't really his genre and he could have quite frankly cared less. As a guy-I get it. However, there was also the problem that I felt like he didn't respect the story for what it was and that came across pretty clear-more than a few times. By the time it was done I was relieved, I felt as if I got kicked across the shins and I was ready for it to be over. 

And still I would use him again. Why? No I'm not secretly a masochist. Because despite the fact he didn't respect the story, and his writing style compared to mine wasn't even close (I swear to GOD he tagged my dialogue over and over with he said she said which was completely unfucking necessary and I wanted to scream-sorry). Yes he cut my words-descriptions of what my characters were wearing and I actually had to explain yes the reader wants to know what the characters are wearing. No I don't accept the changes. Yet even with all that, he did something every author needs from time to time-he told me my baby was ugly and he told me how to make it pretty and when the several times came that I didn't like how he told me to make it pretty I had to take a new look at what I was writing and how to make it better in my voice and my way. 

The first book I wrote took over a year to write and six months of editing-now I question if it was truly edited after all of this-by the time I was done I was sick to death of it. I didn't want to look at it anymore, I was done. Three print outs and two red pens had taken my adoration of all my pretty words and purple prose into disdain and revulsion. That sentence is too long, this is redundant, that is overindulgent, why the hell do you mention this and then never bring it up again. It wasn't pretty but when I was done it was what it needed to be. 

All of that said my other editor, I knew she not only respected what I wrote it was clear she liked it. I didn't think that because of ego it was because it was clear in her edits and her notes. Her writing style might be different but she made her suggestions exactly what I would have written. Did I take everyone of her suggestions? No, but the ones I didn't were extremely minor and just me being a brat. 

I feel like she not only made my stories better she made me a better, more thoughtful writer and any way I can grow I'm happy to take. One thing I hadn't expected was gaining confidence and feeling like I have a new ally when I write. There's a story I've been writing since October-yep October. I start and stop, torture myself with thoughts it will never be good enough. The reason why is it will likely cause a bit of a buzz-I talk about indie authors and models and the relationship between the readers and the erotic romances written and I guess you could say I tweak the nose just a tad. My hope is people will chuckle and blush a bit and enjoy the story but then again not everyone has a sense of humor and it could be taken the wrong way. A few times I've just said no put it away. Yet I have over thirty thousand words and fuck I don't want to throw it away. 

Slowly as I got story after story back from my editor I just knew, if I wrote it she could help me make it the best it could be. Could people bitch about my thoughts on the almost ridiculous lengths writers go to out dirty talk each other? It's true but they won't be able to mock the sentence structure or be annoyed at a dropped word. If I'm going to get whipped I want it to be for the right reasons. So now I'm working on it and for once I'm confident and happy as I do. 

Because editors aren't just there to cut your words they are there to give you better words and help you tell a better story and I finally found that. 

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