Tuesday, May 17, 2011

You're a Professional!


 You're a Professional!
Working with Editor Series: Part Three
Net's Notations Tuesdays

Last Tuesday, we discussed the need to take some time when you get edits back, time permitting, and focus on other projects or activities. Go weed your garden, or take the grandkids for a walk, or have lunch out with a friend. (especially that last one *wink*) This week, a practical directive on tackling your edits.

After taking that much-needed breather, and the time comes to sit down and tackle the edits (or face the contest scores, or your crit partners’ comments), remember—you’re a professional. You’re a writer. An author. This is your job. Face those edits as objectively as you can. Step back and ask yourself: would these changes make the story better? Don’t let pride stand in the way of a good story. Then, dive in. Don’t fret about all the red on the screen or pencil marks on the paper (my crit group uses pencils to mark potential changes on the printed copies we bring to our meetings). Consider each change/comment’s merit, and proceed accordingly.

Did you catch that? Potential changes. Reminds me. Generally, editors are flexible. Some changes will be no-brainers, like adding an apostrophe or changing out a homonym. Other changes may affect voice or tone or areas you’d rather not change—areas that may require a discussion with your editor. Remember, that is always an option. Like I mentioned last month, you don’t want to exasperate your editor, but a few discussions about this project you’re editing together will not bother him/her. My advice: save them up until you’re ready with a list of them. Sending multiple emails a day will probably not endear him/her to you. *grin*

As I said, remember you’re a pro. You’ve got a professional contract, and these edits are part of your job. So, tackle them as you would any other job—as a professional. If discouragement attempts to rattle your calm, stop. Pray. Breathe. Tackle one tracked change at a time and pretty soon you’ll get to the last page and read those ever-endearing, two favorite words spelling out tremendous accomplishment: The End.

Remember, too, the editor (or contest judge or crit partner) is just doing his/her job as well. They’re an objective voice attempting to help you make a strong project. Trust them. Respect them, (and know they respect you). It’s a symbiotic relationship.

So, open the file. Click on the first tracked change and BEGIN! You’ve got a job to do! 

Want to talk about it? Share with us: What are your thoughts when you get feedback on your manuscript (whether from editors/critique partners or contest judges)? Do you need a breather before diving in? What methods work best for you as you tackle the potential changes?

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