Things are heating up again up North and I’m taking mini breaks during my editing project. The novel I’m working on for two new authors is tear jerking work. I had to pause several times and remember that my job is to edit and make brilliant suggestions instead of taking a deep breath to decompress from this autobiographical story of loss. My eyes welled more than a few times and I wondered how this petite woman survived this moment in her life.
Being an emotional editor is a good and a bad thing. I can feel the words on the page but then I need to remember that I’m supposed to be checking grammar and the overall flow of the story. I have to get up close with the picture being painted and then step back to see the whole thing. The more grammar checks I do, the more I realize that the way you put your words together in a sentence to match modern language is a strong preference of the authors.
What do I mean? I believe writers should stand up for their voice and share with their editor on why they chose those words. At the same time, it’s the editors who also help make us great. Sometimes, a few changes or tweak turn good story into a great story that causes highlights and note taking by other authors. If your book manages to have a few noteworthy quotes with a story the reader can get emotionally attached to, then we’re all doing our job.
Another thing was I quickly reminded about during this project, is how quickly track changes can get messy. I found that highlighting and leaving comments in the review section is much cleaner because track changes looks like a crazy mind map after a while. If it’s confusing to men, then it’s going to be confusing to the authors when I return it. My summary pages of what I’ve found and how I formatted, along with the highlights keep everything neat and orderly.
A note to all writers, having summary sheets and the back blurb to your book completed will only help your editor see the big picture and what you’re trying to accomplish.
Time to get back to the novel with my Kleenex box again. This is my life for the next few weeks.
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