What book editors are really like

So I got some feedback today from my editor about the first book in the series I’m ghostwriting. She’s a very kind and smart woman. Her comments for me were short, but incisive. If there is one single piece of advice I could give to young writers, it is to develop thick skin. I know that she isn’t personally insulting me when she tells me how poor my understanding of motorcycles is, or how bad I am at keeping track of days or seasons in my fictional universe. It’s always summer!

Her comments also highlighted the fact that I don’t know as much about Europe as I thought I did. Apparently people don’t eat scones in Switzerland. Who knew? I got that wrong. I get tons of things wrong. And so will you. It’s inevitable. I like to think that I do a fair amount of research, but things always slip through the cracks.

What you have to remember as a writer is 1. Yes you’re the one writing the book and 2. You are not the most important person to the book. You are merely the first link in the chain and that can be hard to accept. Personally, I’ve never had any trouble killing my darlings. It might be that my background in writing (my specialty in my BA) is in short fiction, so I have no problem with getting rid of what’s unnecessary or (more likely in my case) downright wrong.

Sorry for the quick and poorly edited post, but hey I’m lost without my second set of eyes.

Do you have any more questions about what it’s like to get feedback from an editor? Feel free to ask in the comments or on Twitter @shutupcabbage. As always, happy writing.

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One thought on “What book editors are really like

  1. There is a school of thought that editors need to be ‘brutal’. The better approach – certainly the one I take myself and which I look for in editor’s working on my stuff – is to phrase all comments constructively. The task of an editor when dealing with a book for publication is really all to do with quality assurance. And even the best authors can benefit from an editor.

    Liked by 1 person

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