For my first book, Never Heard of ‘Em,I had only one editor. We were on a fiercely tight deadline and he just put his lap top by his bed to make corrections whenever I send him the next chapter. I didn’t have time to hate this hard worker.
1. ONE REASON TO LOVE YOUR EDITOR IS THAT HE (or she) CAN WORK FAST ENOUGH TO KEEP UP WITH YOU! I’d have hated him if he’d kept me waiting just forever to make his marginally important corrections of my practically flawless work.
For my second book, Channeling Mae West, I used two editors and eight readers. Four of those readers never gave me any feedback, so they don’t really count The other four, however, did and their feedback was (mostly) of great help. So I’ll have to consider that I really had six editors on this challenging memoir of widowhood. And with six editors – there was a lot to love, and to hate.
2. “Snot”. THIS EDITOR TRIED TO KILL MY MOST IMPORTANT WORDS! Now really, how can anyone possibly consider that the phrase “soggy tissues” comes even close to the impact of “snot”? Really??? She didn’t seem to have any problem with the F-bomb. But she wanted me to delete Snot. Well – too bad. I kept it.
3. MY EDITOR LAUGHED AND CRIED AT ALL THE RIGHT SPOTS! Ya gotta love an editor who gets your jokes!
4. “Lose half your characters“. I HATED HER FOR MAKING ME DUMP PEOPLE I LOVE ONTO THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR. But she was right (the bitch) and I love her for it.
5. “What happened at the ball?” SHE HAD THE NERVE TO ASK. “You spent three pages telling us about getting sewn into the dress and two more about taking dance classes – and failing. Then you went to the ball and you went home. Your readers want to know what happened at the ball.” BOY IS IT EASY TO HATE/LOVE AN EDITOR WHO NOTICES SOMETHING YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN FROM THE START. Crap!
6. “Page 37, paragraph 4,” HE GENTLY SAID, “is an important moment. Do a better job of it.”
SON OF A BITCH – HE MADE ME WRITE A BETTER BOOK.