Friday, November 11, 2011

Got To Have Friends

The main problem - in my mind's eye - is that my editor wants my chapters to be as neat and clean as possible - she says it's the best way to deal with tension and stuff - keeps it moving. But when I read books like Harry Potter and such - there is a plethora of description so I almost feel like I can't trust my editor which makes me writhe.

So that's why I asked the guy at Skyline to meet with me - he writes science fiction - which is close. I want to ask his opinion. I'm not going to have it edited anymore - not till it's done. Just critiqued by the group at Skyline. They'll find the little things that need correcting.

The author gave some good input - but it goes against what my editor is saying. In some fiction, authors tend to put in a lot of description. I like that. I like the way it flows - doing it my editor’s way doesn’t have that poetic quality to it. I know she's right about cutting redundant stuff. But ... to get the feel of the landscape and the majesty of the dragon - she doesn't think a lot of description is necessary or good.

A friend wrote to me:  “You have to have such things if you are going to really feel it as a reader. I think editors these days are thinking too much of the generation that has a short attention span or something.”

I think that's it entirely and this author told me that she was very surprised to find that most of her audience is middle-aged women who are used to reading things like Pride and Prejudice and such.

Now that my friend and I discussed this -- I'm wondering - God forbid - if my editor might be right - that the kids who are the targeted audience would better read the quick short descriptions. Hmmmm.

I hope this makes sense. It does to me.

I wrote and thanked my friend - as always, after talking with her, I feel so much better.

Life is friend-full.


  1. In the end, it's all about opinion. You pay the editor for her opinion. It's based on her writing experience...but also her experiences in life, with all the foibles and problems which can shade objectivity.

    Stay true to your instinct. Take what feels right to you and discard the rest. You know in your heart what that is!

  2. Minnie is right. Your editor also has personal opinions and preferences that may not reflect yours. If your editor doesn't like descriptions, then they'll cut it. Whereas another editor who loves it will ask for more.

    Side note: Desert Rose (my local RWA chapter) had a mini lesson on editing at our last meeting. The first editing is for continuity. The second edit is line by line. And the last is to make sure everything looks like it should before print.

  3. I do know where the story is going, Minnie. The problem is - how to write it so it gets published. What's the sense of writing if you can't share it?

    It's not the content that's the problem... it's how it's presented.

    The days of Tolkien and Jane Austen appear to be gone. Sadly. But a good story, now that will live on.

  4. Your right about the editors, Judy. Think of all the editors who passed up Harry Potter. Why shoot myself in the foot, if I can keep the 'heart' of the story, by just changing the style. I don't mean my style - I mean the descriptions or lack of.

  5. :-)

    I'm sure it's very difficult to balance what you want to present as the author and what editors believe to be publishable. If you are just talking to one editor, I don't think you are getting the full range of opinion you need to determine what is actually true about what readers want versus what the single editor thinks the readers want. Somewhere there has to be a balance so that publishers publish, readers read, and the author doesn't have to ruin the story of their heart just to get it to that point.

  6. Yup. You've definitely hit the nail on the head, Margaret. I need a full range of opinions. See today's blog! Thanks as ever for your support.