Sunday, 1 January 2012

EDITORS... the same one every time? What do YOU think?

I thought I'd start off my first post of 2012 on the inimitable breed...  The Editor.

As a writer, we all know that an Editor is absolutely necessary and while our beta readers, if we have one, can check out spellings and cross our 'T's and dot the 'i's (and this is in no way meant as disrespectful to beta readers or CP's.  I have two wonderful CP's (betas) who not only look for the obvious grammatical and sentence structure, but also slap me about the head and say, "What you talking 'bout Lisa?" much in the style of Arnold from Different Strokes.  However some prefer just to correct the grammatical so I am aware I'm lucky in that way.)  an Editor coaxes and suggests and guides your ship to another course that you may not have thought of.  Let's face it and I know my CP's will agree, when you've read the same bloody thing over and over again, you can't see the wood for the trees.

I have heard horror stories about Editors, but have had nothing but wonderful experiences with the three I have worked with, and I have had the pleasure of working with all three more than once.  We've exchanged emails, got to know a little about each other which made the whole editing process that much more personal.  And really, when you've put your heart and soul into your 'baby', what could be more personal?

What I don't like, however, is the non-personal version of the Editor.  A faceless, nameless person who doesn't feel the need to make that connection.  I think where that connection and the to and froing about the story can only enhance it and make you go "oh my god, you're right, what about this bit?", the impersonal loses some of that and plot gaps slip by.

So what do you prefer?  The personal touch or the not so personal?

Answers on a postcard please... or you could just leave a comment ;P


  1. I've had a little of both, Lisa, so I understand both sides of the coin. There have been editors who challenged me and drove me - and I wept when any of them left the publisher. But there have been editors who corrected a few things here and there, otherwise said 'this is great' and made me roll my eyes. "How is that doing your job?" I wanted to scream.

  2. The personal is very important to me. I have to feel a connection to the editor to respect his or her judgment and be open to suggested changes. I must feel they like my story. I had one editor who hated my book and my publisher responded quickly, taking her off the project. Outside of an occasional problem with editors not making deadlines, my experiences have been pretty good. Especially with the lady I use for my own books. Having a responsive publisher is key, too.

  3. Hi Lisa, wonderful thought provoking post. Being the newbie, I've only had one experience with an editor. Although the submissions editor required me to make some changes before she fully accepted. But, I digress. The editor I had made wonderful changes, without changing my story or my train of thought during the weaving of the plot. He had wonderful suggestions to make my thoughts flow. He ended our experience by saying he would love to edit anything else I write. (blushes here)
    I admit, I write a story and I send it off for submission consideration. I do not fret over the storyline details, I punt and hope for the best. I've made all the housekeeping edits- grammar, spelling, etc.
    I figure if the publishing company likes it, so be it.
    I suppose with the varying genres I tread through, more than one editor might offer better perspective, so, we shall wait and see.
    I expect 2012 to be a very eye opening experience in the arena of my newly chosen career of writing.
    As always, I appreciate friends like you to be there as we share the journey and bring our words to print. And, sometimes, just vent and spew our personal needs as well.
    Cheers Lisa, happy 2012!

  4. I've had the pleasure and luxury of working with four wonderful editors. One of those has worked with me on several books, and we've developed a marvelous relationship. This dream editor doesn't hesitate to push me to improve, and I love it.

    I've also worked with three anonymous editors. One was excellent. The other two were as effective as a concrete frog in a flower garden.
    I honestly believe that if we'd been allowed to communicate directly, the experience would have been vastly different.

    Great post.

  5. I... could say so much, but I don't have to. You had to deal with my fall-out on the subject.

  6. I'm a fan of developing a relationship with an editor. I've been with Kelli at EC since 2007 and we "get" one another. I've done the mystery meat thing at other pubs and it was fine but I felt a disconnect.

    The flip side, of course, is developing a working relationship with an editor who then leaves the company. As someone who was "inherited" by another editor, I can tell you that process doesn't always go smoothly. In my case, it spelled the end of my dealings with that very big epublisher. Sad because I really liked it there!

  7. Why thank you, Lo! :)

    Hmmm...well, this particular member of the inimitable breed (*grin*) tries very hard to make a connection with her authors, on whatever level is comfortable for them. It's usually pretty easy and happens almost by accident. Life gets in the way of my work, and I notify my authors when that happens. So they've been privy to the good, the bad and some of the ugly in my personal life, and vice versa.

    But as I caution my editorial team, the line between "friendly editor" and "friend" is thinner than most realize. Cross too far into the latter and nearly every editor loses his/her ability to be subjective, at least to a degree. I want to be as friendly and personal with my authors as I can, but never at the expense of my editorial eye. ;)

    Kelli Collins
    Ellora's Cave