Oh Boy! Edits.
I dragged myself to my desk yesterday morning late, as I’d arrived home from Mexico at about three in the morning. There sat the inevitable bucket load of e-mails to run through with my trusty delete key, until I saw the one from Alice Duncan, editor and author of almost fifty books.
Alice is a Developmental Editor (DE) with my publishing company, someone who reads through the manuscript for content, word use, capitalization and formatting. She and another DE, Gordon, went through my story and sent it to me with those comments and changes you see in colored boxes to the side of Word documents. It all looked very official.
I am now in the edit stag of writing. This is more exciting than going to a beach full of hunky young men in a swimsuit a few sizes too small in all the right places (okay, I can dream, can’t I?).
I remember being an editor of my school newspaper at Vaughan Elementary. The task was daunting. My teacher, Ms. Poynter, was firm and had me go check with other teachers whose students sent in stories where the wording wasn’t quite right. Talk about intimidating. One didn’t challenge authority figures in those days.
“I thought it sounded cute to call it a ‘lighted box’ instead of ‘projector’,” said one teacher. Ms. Poynter, was blunt. Chop the cute. Be accurate. I didn’t sleep that night, caught between the desires of the author and the publisher. I think that’s when I stopped getting the school newsletter out.
Today, I have every desire to work cooperatively with an editor, so when I took a first glimpse through the suggestions and changes, I was prepared for a lot of cute-chopping. My subconscious was tensed and ready for a lot of requests to re-write this or take-out that kind of comments. Heck, I’d been toughened by years of writing group critiques. Bring it on. I can handle it.
Indeed, the first comments referred to formatting errors I hadn’t realized I’d committed. Did you know it’s a bad habit to add spaces before hitting your return key to start a new paragraph? Guilty–195 times guilty.
Then I read through more.
Alice had been gentle. Her comments made sense, her corrections light and appropriate. Ms. Poynter faded from the picture, replaced by a kind image of someone who seems to want me to succeed without changing me.
Today I’ll start going through Alice’s work more carefully, but I am very pleased and grateful for the person who’s guidance will help move Faith On The Rocks to a better place, more ready for your reading in a year from now.