Dealing with Editor Interference

When my first book manuscript came back with so much editing I no longer recognized it, I sat and cried. For a day. What do editors know, anyhow?

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Then I got to work.

When my next manuscript returned bleeding from the edits, I ate chocolate. It was therapeutic. Medicinal.

Then I got to work.

These days I no longer need tears or chocolate. I just get to work.

Before, I took editing personally; now I ask for constructive feedback. I eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I have come to realize:

  • The editor knows his publication and what his audience wants.
  • I learn something new from each editor.
  • A fresh look at my project from another’s skilled eyes is good for my craft.
  • I gain by making every change I can.
  • When I disagree, I rewrite to say what I want to and still satisfy the editor.

In Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After, my editor wanted to cut a paragraph I felt was critical. I told a writer friend I felt it was important and why.

“Say that,” she said. “Write it the way you just said it.”

The first draft was writer-ese; the second was my heart. The editor was pleased with my rewrite.

Jerry Jenkins says every piece of published writing is a duet. Thanks to my editor’s harmonies, the finished project is better.

PeggySue Wells is the author of a dozen titles including What To Do When You’re Scared to Death and Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After. Audie Award finalist, The Slave Across the Street, co-written with Theresa Flores, has been optioned for a made-for-TV-movie.

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