Monday, July 18, 2016

Editorial Encouragement by Marianne Evans

Marianne Evans
en·cour·age·ment
noun
  • The action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope. Synonyms:    heartening, cheering up, inspiration, motivation, fortification
  • Persuasion to do or to continue to do something.
  • The act of trying to stimulate the development of an activity, state or belief.
 There are any number of wonderful people in my life who offer encouragement, a pat on the back, or a swift shove to the shoulder, if necessary, and yes, even critique is a form of encouragement.

Sure, it may not feel that way, but let me repeat: Critique is a form of encouragement.

Let’s take editing as an example. I was recently asked to contribute my thoughts to an article my publisher was creating on the topic of dealing with edits. I had to think about that for a moment, because first and foremost, I’m the overly-sensitive type. Oh, it’s not that I think my writing is so superlative and flawless that, excuse me, no edits could possibly be required. Just the opposite. I’m actually a bundle of insecurity, wondering if, with this particular book/round of edits, my publisher is finally catching on to the fact that I’m not really a very good writer and that I might want to just move along.


Therefore, when I get edits, my instinct is to cringe, to look at each change as a failure on my part to make my story excellent. Boy, have I been forced to change my tune. In the course of releasing a good number of books over the last few years, I’ve gone through a lot of editing—some light, some heavy. With each submission I find myself leaning on my publisher’s mantra: ‘If this wasn’t a great story, we wouldn’t have contracted it.’

For me, there are three components to the editing process: mutual trust, mutual faith, and mutual support. I have to trust that my editor has the best interests of my book at heart. My editor has to trust me to deliver a publishable story. I have to have faith that my editor’s skill is going to make my book shine. She’s on my side. In turn, my editor has to have faith that I am ready and able to perform any story/character changes that happen along the way. Via mutual support and open communication, my editor and I should both know, when we reach ‘The End’ we have come together to create something great.


The next time edits have you bugged, I hope this advice comes in handy. It also helps me to remember that the author/editor relationship is about being a team.  Build that relationship, and success will come!

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Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create. Devotion, earned the Bookseller’s Best Award as well as the Heart of Excellence Award. Hearts Communion earned a win for Best Romance from the Christian Small Publisher's Association. Finding Home won the Selah award for Best Novella. Marianne is a lifelong resident of Michigan and an active member of Romance Writers of America, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President.
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Country music bad boy Chase Bradington is on the comeback trail. Fresh from rehab for alcohol addiction, and transformed by the power of Christ, Chase is battling to rediscover the music he loves and a career he nearly ruined. Then he meets up and comer, Pyper Brock, and instantly sparks ignite.

Pyper knows of Chase’s reputation, so despite a rampant attraction to the handsome and talented icon, she soundly dismisses his romantic overtures. Decades ago, her father, in a drunken rage, tossed her and her mother onto the streets. No way will Pyper make the mistake of falling for a man whose done battle with the bottle.

What happens when Chase’s quest to win Pyper’s love breaks down chains of resentment and eases the long buried wounds of her childhood? And what happens when Pypers father shows up in Nashville, clean, sober and seeking a chance to apologize?

Can Pyper follow a pathway to peace when it comes to her father? Can she fully trust Chase? Above all, can a sin damaged past be released in favor of forgiveness?

Releasing 11/1/2016 ~ Available for pre-order now at Amazon.com in PRINT and E-BOOK formats

4 comments:

  1. I had the privilege of working with Annette and her edits were spot on. I trusted her completely so I definitely understand what you're talking about.

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  2. As a freelance editor, I work hard to give a balance of both positive and constructive feedback. I want to help the writer become even better, but I also understand how important it is to receive encouragement.

    As a writer, I'd much rather have an editor be hard on me than pat me on the back. I think years of working with two critique partners I could trust and who were were hard on me out of love helped me get to that point.

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  3. Terri, I couldn't agree more! I've had the privilege of working with Annette as well, and she's remarkable!! And I don't think it's mere happenstance that the book she edited, Hearts Communion, went on to earn Book of the Year in Romance from the Christian Small Publishers Association. It's teamwork!!

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  4. Dawn, great point! You hit on something I ran out of 'time' to get into during the course of my post. I'm a firm believer that editors shouldn't just deliver the 'red ink.' They should also give a comment here and there, or a kudo here and there, that let's the author know where they did good work, or struck a chord, or hit on a great plot element. The blend makes things so much easier, and, yes, helps the author become even better. I think you need both for sure!!! <3 xo

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