1. #1 by tyroper on August 25, 2013 - 2:50 pm

    Reblogged this on Time to Write and commented:
    Another constructive post from “Nail Your Novel”

  2. #3 by cydmadsen on August 25, 2013 - 3:23 pm

    This is a tough one, Roz. You’ve given excellent suggestions, especially backing off and letting yourself cool down. Everyone has their own distance requirement before they realize it’s not about them, it’s about the story, and it takes time and experience to learn one’s own limits. And then they change.

    My main focus lately has been with scriptwriting, and whether we like it or not, most of our contemporary audience reads with expectations gained through TV and movies. With that in mind, I’d be very careful in selecting an editor and less concerned about pleasing them than I would be about pleasing the story.

    In workshops with some of the best story development professionals in the business, the most valuable thing I’ve learned is how pros listen to feedback, pause, then ask questions for clarification with a probing curiosity to understand. I think asking questions is the best way of getting distance and making the story a third entity you can discuss dispassionately with the consultant/editor. It’s not about you, it’s not about the editor, it’s about the story. If you and the editor share the same passion for this type of story told at this time and in this way, you’ve got a fantastic opportunity for discussion that’s exciting and productive for everyone, especially the reader waiting for your next book.

    Chocolate, wine, and pie also help.

    • #4 by rozmorris @NailYourNovel @ByRozMorris on August 25, 2013 - 6:57 pm

      Cyd, I love that phrase: ‘pleasing the story’. I always find that the further I get in revisions, the more I become dedicated to the story and to doing it justice. It’s this feeling that allows me to get out of my own way, ditch the darlings, cut the indulgences and do what the book deserves.
      And I love what you’ve said here about asking the right questions. If someone makes a suggestion that you disagree with, you need to find out what’s really wrong. Often they’re groping as much as you are and their solution can be the start of a productive discussion.
      As for the pie, what kind? In my head I have now put your last line together and am hoping for a recipe for chocolate wine pie.

  3. #5 by philipparees on August 25, 2013 - 3:56 pm

    Having had three experiences I can distil a little of Cyd’s sagacity. First Editor chosen by very reputable agency for all the wrong reasons ( a supposed knowledge of the field rather than the philosophy) was an expensive catastrophe. Nearly ended the will to live! It was the savage notes in the margin ‘Wot’s this? whenever a metaphor raised its tentative head. Next one was a wonderfully soothing stroker who loved everything which ended up making me even more insecure, and the last a thorough professional who put as much shine on the text as my husbands does on the Christmas candlesticks. When you find one of the last then you begin to believe you have actually written something worthy of that polish. Anything that falls short begins to offend before you ask. The most under-rated profession Editors of the write kind!

    • #6 by rozmorris @NailYourNovel @ByRozMorris on August 25, 2013 - 7:04 pm

      Hi Philippa! What a rollercoaster. And an editor for your book would need a rare set of skills. As Cyd says, the editor has to believe in your book written your way – or as much as possible. Sometimes a client is barking up the wrong tree and I can’t see a way for it to work, but if so I always explain how I’m responding and what’s making me feel like that. I also present a number of possible solutions, thus illustrating that there’s more than one way to tackle the problems.

  4. #7 by Wendy Jones on August 25, 2013 - 5:45 pm

    Excellent advice as always. Thank you

  5. #9 by Elaine Jackson (@ElaineJackson12) on August 25, 2013 - 11:03 pm

    Being an unpublished writer working on a second draft and not yet having experienced the agent/editor critique, I have however had two assessments of the first draft (one of the first twenty pages, another of the whole MS) and am pleased to say that I more or less followed the drill, without even knowing I was doing so; glad I got that right!

    What cydmadsen had to say about pausing to listen and asking questions also seems like good advice, and I will try to remember it when I am at my first literary festival in three week’s time…

    • #10 by rozmorris @NailYourNovel @ByRozMorris on August 26, 2013 - 8:01 am

      Ooh, enjoy the festival, Elaine. Yes, Cyd added some great points there. If you have the opportunity to discuss your book with an editor who’s in tune with your work, it’s a huge help. And it has to be said that editors (and agents) sometimes come up with the perfect suggestion to solve a problem. Best of luck when your manuscript is fully ready for the fray.

  6. #11 by gabriellan on August 26, 2013 - 2:45 am

    Reblogged this on Of a Writerly Sort and commented:
    In the past two and a half days I’ve packed up and moved back to school. First day of classes of my senior year starts tomorrow! Eeek. Scary and exciting at the same time. While I prep for class, why don’t y’all read this handy dandy post about feedback on your writing – something that’s also scary and exciting at the same time 🙂

  7. #12 by ED Martin on August 26, 2013 - 3:27 am

    When it comes to the copy-editing stage, I think it’s super important that you and the editor on the same page with regard to author’s voice. My editor has my style sheet and respects it as much as possible – no em-dashes or ellipses, I use semicolons, etc. I’ve had editors go through and change everything at this stage not because it was wrong (bad grammar, incorrect details, etc) but because it wasn’t how THEY would word it. If I’d made all their changes, it would’ve completely taken the stories out of my voice. I politely pointed this out to them, and fortunately it wasn’t an issue after that. But it showed how important communication is.

    • #13 by rozmorris @NailYourNovel @ByRozMorris on August 26, 2013 - 8:03 am

      What a good point, ED. You don’t want the editor to impose a style that drowns your voice – especially if there are certain sentence forms you wouldn’t use. A sensitive editor knows how to edit and keep the essential ‘you’. It’s great that you made a style sheet so the editor wouldn’t waste time making unnecessary corrections.

  8. #14 by Katie Cross on August 26, 2013 - 2:01 pm

    Perfect timing! I just got my manuscript back this morning from the editor, and although I was looking forward to diving back in and reworking it, I’ve been nervous all morning. This made me feel a lot better, thanks!

  9. #16 by Kathleen on August 26, 2013 - 10:05 pm

    Timeline is trouble! It’s not impossible to change, but it’s a big change, with lots of little fingers that impact a lot of other things. I’m dealing with that now.

    • #17 by rozmorris @NailYourNovel @ByRozMorris on August 27, 2013 - 7:59 pm

      Hi Kathleen! I discovered the value of a detailed timeline when I was ghostwriting. I had merciless editors who would ask me to justify how the plot hung together and whether enough time had been allowed for the various events. The first time I had to unravel the timeline in my manuscript was so tricky it taught me to keep it under tight control. In all subsequent books I was able to brandish a closely written timeline to prove everything was possible.

      • #18 by Kathleen on August 28, 2013 - 1:13 pm

        With my WIP I’ve recently had to rework it again. Thinking I should do it before I start writing next time. 🙂

  10. #19 by Jo Carroll on August 27, 2013 - 8:13 am

    This is wonderfully realistic. We all send our work off to editors with crossed fingers. Maybe this time it will come back with nothing but a tweak or two. It never does – that’s just how it is. So taking a deep breath and then doing some Serious Thinking – that works for me.

    And the copy edit – I’d never publish anything without a copy edit. (Mine spots mis-spelled place names – I’d scribbled them in a notebook, copied the scribble – and am appalled at how often they’re wrong!)

  11. #21 by bethteliho on September 1, 2013 - 2:51 pm

    Yet again the Universe has sent me someone just as I needed them! Your website is wonderful – an infinite well of resources! Wow! And this post about how to deal with editorial feedback was something I was worrying about since it’s knocking at my door. THANK YOU. I’m all up in your business now (twitter, FB, following). Can’t get enough. You Rock. (oh, and sitting on my Kindle is your novel. Can’t wait to sink my teeth into it!) 🙂

  12. #23 by raulconde001 on September 8, 2013 - 4:05 am

    Hi, Roz! When I have read this I was thinking exactly that trying to send my manuscript to them isn’t the first time the traditional publishing house will accept it and it’s rare that they do. They are the toughest critics, and from us they are looking for perfection in our manuscripts. You are right about the manuscripts needing corrections. When I started reading this I now know how this works, and not all unknown writers aren’t so lucky. Only a few of them are. Thank you for clearing all this up for me. Now I have more information on this subject. However, I am thinking of rereading this article over again many times. But, I think we all need to learn how these to satisfy these 3 critics in order for us to improve on some of our manuscripts. Only one manuscript stands for them. It is interesting when you said that we don’t need to agree of what our agents say some things about how our manuscripts needs to be. I believe you. I believe that all writers have the toughest assignments. I’ll double check my work many times next time. Thank you! 🙂

  1. Monday Must-Reads [08/26/13] - YESENIA VARGAS
  2. Top Picks Thursday 08-29-2013 | The Author Chronicles
  3. On editors and editing | Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing
  4. Great opportunity! Get your first five pages critiqued by a professional editor | Jennifer M Eaton
  5. You’ve Been Fast-Tracked! | J. Keller Ford ~ Y.A. Fantasy Author
  6. Wednesday Woo: Criticism |
  7. Criticism for your writing – how to seek it, how to take it: Ep 16 FREE podcast for writers | Nail Your Novel

Your turn!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: