your book, and I’ve talked a few times before about editing your book. This isn’t
going to be a how-to-edit guide again though. Today, I wanted to talk about how
to deal with someone else’s edits to your novel.
(Although definitely worth it – check out this post on why you should be publishing
your book online!)
book. So much time and hard work and passion and the thought of someone else
reading it can be utterly terrifying. And that’s just someone reading it –
never mind them going over it with a critical eye, picking out plot holes or
telling you to cut things or saying you need to do more work on a certain character.
how-to-edit. I’m not going to tell you why you can’t afford to be sentimental
about things or why you can or anything else.
your novel is trying to help.
want to hear, but they’re not doing it to tear your confidence to shreds. They’re
not saying it to be mean or because your book is awful or because you’re a
crappy writer. They’re saying these things and making these edits because they
want your book to be the best it can be.
second draft can still be pretty rough and need some work. Your editor is just
trying to show you all of that potential and help you get to it.
attached to your book. You can get too sentimental about some parts of it and
too protective of it. I mean, it’s only natural. But also, you know your story
inside out, and that means it’s easy for you to miss something in your novel.
my first novel The Kissing Booth, is not Caucasian. I always pictured her with
dark skin. It was mentioned in the first draft, but whole chapters got cut in
editing, and somewhere along the line, any mention of Elle’s skin colour was
cut, too. Not intentionally, though. It just would’ve been part of a whole
scene. But because I knew my character so well I was absolutely certain it had to
be in there somewhere, so I never noticed while I was going over edits that it
wasn’t explicitly mentioned anymore.
Something might make total sense to you because you’re the writer, the creator,
but it may never be clear in the actual book. You need a fresh pair of eyes.
that you’re the writer and it’s your story and if you don’t want to make a
change, you don’t have to.
character,’ ask them why. (They’ll probably tell you, but you can ask for
further explanation/input.) It’s your story so you don’t have to take it in a
direction you don’t like.
opinion. It may well be a professional opinion, and they may make an extremely
valid point that will make your story a whole lot better, but it’s still just
their opinion. A different editor or person or reader might not see it that
to say is that your editor should be someone you can talk to. I know in
traditional publishing you don’t necessarily get a choice, but you still need
to talk to them. You’re both invested in making this book the best it can be.
You both want to work hard at this and you both love the book. So if they
suggest something you’re just not feeling, or don’t agree with, just talk to
them about it.
said that two of the character’s storylines were too similar. She made a couple
of suggestions but I wasn’t really feeling them. When inspiration struck and I
figured out what to do, I asked her if she thought that made more sense and
would solve the problem. It’s a conversation. Not somebody dictating to you.
really are trying to help.
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particularly when it comes to someone else editing your novel? I’d love to hear
in the comments or via Twitter!