Opening that email from your editor….



Okay, so it’s not actually 123985 changes… Just 2100 on a 180 page single-spaced document. Eek! Heart palpitations! Actually, that’s part of why I’m writing my third post in 24 hours. I’m having a hard time looking at more than a page at a time. So overwhelming and scary! Especially since one suggestion was to consider cutting one of the two POV characters and having only one POV!

I sent this away three weeks ago and got it back today. This was specifically “development editing” which means it’s meant to look more at overall structural things and I was specifically looking for cultural and linguistic feedback. I’ve kind of skimmed through it a bit and it appears she’s also made quite a few punctuation suggestions. Bonus.

Anyway, that’s what I paid her for, right? So….

ImageOkay, let’s do this!

Have you ever used a professional editor? What was your experience like?


35 thoughts on “Opening that email from your editor….

      • I don’t write novels, but I can understand the numbers. When a professional screenwriter friend of mine gave me 3 pgs of notes on one of my scripts, I nearly cried. It took me a while to process it all, because he too suggested some big changes. Depending on what else you’re working on, it might be good to get a little distance.


      • Haha not a bad idea. I won’t have time for writing much starting in about a week, as I have a steady stream of friends and family visiting me in Singapore. Forced break!


      • Haha indeed. But then the very highly motivated part of me that just wants to be DONE with this MS and submitting to agents says: Sarah get it done before your sister gets here!!! Yeah, it’s a bit of a problem lol


  1. When my novel was edited professionally the first thing I felt was amazement that my words had been interpreted in a way I hadn’t really intended. And so picky! I felt quite angry, thinking I’d put so much work into it and how much more was still needed. My editor was from Pan Macmillan and she was pretty tough. When I sent back my new edit she was like an entirely different person, so encouraging, enjoying the little jokes, liking the strengthening of POVs. Now I look back and appreciate the whole process and how much better the novel ended up being. It really is a matter of killing your darlings and us sensitive little creatives have to learn to cope with that! Enjoy every one of your 2100 edits!

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    • Haha sound advice! I think it’s more like I’m not really able to capture the dialect of this POV character unless I’ve lived in that culture so it may be best not to try……..


      • Haha you have nooooo idea how many movies and books and all that I read and watched to get it!!! I have a dialect spreadsheet with over 900 entries, it’s been read by three English people, consulted on by three people from Belfast, and now the editor. So it’s like a double leap, first from American to British English (which is a huge leap in vocab and phrasing), then to Belfast dialect, then specifically to working class Belfast. If it all still feels ick, then gaahhhhh! But I did tell her I wanted to be authentic and not use stereotypes. I guess this is just case in point why writing is so hard.


  2. Good luck with the rebuilding. I have had one of my stories torn apart in such a way that I wanted to cry. I wondered why I had even bothered. After a night involving some whisky, I finally settled down and began. I ended with something I was happier with and was able to set it right. You will come out the other side happier.


  3. This must be an exciting moment for you. POV is intriguing, isn’t it? Writers and editors are forever preoccupied by it, but readers typically don’t even know it exists!


    • Gahhhh I know. It’s me writing in first person in a dialect that’s not my own. That’s the biggest problem. It’s intended for US audiences and if I go as is it might be confusing but it sounds like it may be um…problematic perhaps is the word?…for readers of that background, mostly because I don’t get the nuances.


      • I had a 1-hour dry run initially. Thinking we would get through about five chapter. We almost got five pages… I cringe to think, already.


      • 5 pages though, that’s good! Yeah, I’ve been blogging a lot because my anxiety spikes and I need to distract myself a few lol. And I cleaned my house. Maybe I should get editorial feedback more often 😛


  4. I’m researching what YA readers want in future published books and a lot of them are saying multiple POV with a solid cast of interesting characters. Just FYI. On a side note, I have three POVs in my novel and one beta suggested changing it to one. When I contacted my other betas to run that thought by them they all said emphatically “NO!” So, there’s a thought. Of course, none of them, or myself are professional editors. 🙂


    • Interesting…… I didn’t know that! Thanks for sharing. I’ve started work on another project while I figure out what to do with Hooligans and it’s also going to be two POV!


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