I recently wrote about the editing process when you are a new author. This time, I want to talk about an author’s mindset when working with an editor. Interactions will vary from person to person, but I think it’s worth noting a few aspects before the work starts.
What do you need to know about this professional relationship you’re in the process of developing? I attempt to answer with a few thoughts and my own experiences for you to have an idea.
Approach the editing process with an open mind
After working for months, or even years, on a manuscript, it’s natural to develop a certain emotional attachment to your own plot and characters. There’s nothing wrong with that. You should be proud of your efforts.
When the editing process starts, it’s important to be aware that a lot of aspects are going to change for the better. Regardless of the type of editing that your work is going through, major adjustments can be part of the deal. That’s fine. That’s the point of getting someone else revise your manuscript.
The editor will make suggestions as he or she sees it’s best to proceed. This person is someone you decided to trust based on his or her experience; therefore, their opinions and recommendations matter. Remember that their job is making your story shine and express its true potential.
With that in mind, try to avoid any sense of defence. Instead, be more receptive to learning new ways of improving your writing. The feedback you get from the editing process is a powerful source of knowledge.
Respect is the best policy
Respect is a core value between author and editor.
As an author, you have the right to express disagreement with suggested changes. You also have the right to ask for clarification if the feedback is ambiguous. However, be mindful of your tone. Remember that professionalism is key for your project to succeed.
Respect is an aspect of the relationship that goes both ways. You can also expect the editor to provide his or her comments in an appropriate manner. Even if the story has a lot of issues to fix, these challenges should be addressed constructively. Editing a manuscript is an opportunity for improvement, not for building conflict.
That’s why it’s important to choose an editor carefully. If you have access to samples of their work and see how they provide feedback, that’s going to be really helpful. Ultimately, evaluate if you truly connect with potential editors after a few online interactions. It would be nice to meet them in person and talk about your project, but COVID-19 is making face-to-face interactions challenging for the time being.
What are your suggestions to build a professional relationship with editors?