Sunday, January 29, 2012

In praise of editors

This week was a mad frenzy of work completing the copy edits for The Faceless. The timing was a bit crappy as it was the last week of the holidays and I'd been looking forward to kicking back and relaxing with the boys. But the timing was also brilliant as my editor happened to be down from Auckland the week before to help her daughter shift house, so we got to meet for a coffee and a chat and discover we were on the same wavelength - which is always good!

One of the things she said made me smile. She was concerned that I'd think her editing was a bit too detailed (she is a grammar and punctuation Queen) and that I might think she was being picky. I said are you kidding - I love that. I love that there is someone there with that eye to detail for all the things I miss or don't think are important. As I said to her, when I send my manuscript in to my agent and publisher, it is the first time anyone other than me has clapped eyes on it. That's the way I operate. I can't bear the thought of anyone else reading it while it is a work in progress, I'd be embarrassed. I have many writer friends who pass segments of work around to trusted friends to critique and give feedback, and that works for them, but for me writing is a solitary art, not even hubby gets a look. So I need my team of editors; my agents editor and publishers editor who first read the manuscript and make suggestions about how I can improve things, because I am so involved in the story I sometimes don't see the obvious. I know what's going to happen and who is who, and of course, I think what I've handed in is perfect, when naturally it is not! I need my copy editor who graciously points out that I've used a favourite word 34 times, and that I might like to think of some other synonyms or restructure the sentence.

As a writer you go through various stages of love and hate with a manuscript. After a couple of lots of revisions I was feeling utterly over this book. But after doing the copy edits, and seeing how changing a few words could polish it up sparkling, I have fallen in love with it again, I feel it has reached its true form.

So a toast to the editors. Bless you all.

5 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Vanda - I couldn't possibly agree with you more! You are so, so right about the value of a good editor. I lift a glass right along with you.

Damon Young said...

Oh, hear hear, Vanda.

And for intereste's sake, a few words on editors: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/41052.html

Stephen Stratford said...

On behalf of editors, thanks Vanda. It's nice to know that someone appreciates us.

Some of us quite like working with authors too. Well, authors like you, anyway.

Dave said...

Oh you big brown noser you!

:)

Cheers Dave

jtwebster books said...

Hi Vanda,
I've given you a blog award. Pop over to my latest post for the info. :)