Thursday, June 21, 2012
The 5 Stages of Editing Grief
Stage 1: Denial
I've had short stories published before, I've had edits done on my work before, but I've never had to deal with so many adjustments. Self-righteous pride welled up inside me. My story didn't need all these changes—or so I told myself.
Stage 2: Anger
Even though I've heard authors talk about editors in a bad way, I've always sworn to never give an editor a hard time and to never assume they didn't know what they were on about. Well, in this stage of my editing grief, I'd forgotten that personal rule. I raged and pouted and stomped my footsies.
Stage 3: Depression
Of course, once I got over my self-absorbed anger, I turned to self-absorbed depression. I believed I was a terrible writer and my story would never be any good. I even toyed with thoughts of giving up.
Stage 4: Acceptance
Of course eventually I realised I was being a goose. I knew the story had some kind of potential otherwise J. Taylor Publishing would never have included it for the anthology.
Stage 5: Getting on with it
This is the stage where the real work can finally get done. It's not about accepting every single change an editor wants. As a writer, I am the author of my work. It's in both the author's and the editor's best interest to maintain the author's voice while producing the best work possible. It becomes a team effort based on trust. With a little give and take by both parties, the process becomes hugely rewarding.
What's your reaction when someone suggests changes to your work? To the writers: what's been your experience with professional editors?