Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Freedom Thief: The First Edits

When I received my manuscript for The Freedom Thief back for edits, my content editor said, "This is the first round of edits." Oh wow! What does 'first round' mean? Are there a lot of corrections, a lot of mistakes on my part? I am pretty good with SPAG, so I couldn't imagine there were mistakes in that area. So what else was wrong?

I needn't have worried. My SPAG was fine. The edits were minor, except for the word "towards." For some reason, I kept leaving the 's' off at the end of the word, and I used it a lot. That was piddly but tedious stuff to add the 's' every single time I used that word. Bet I won't ever leave it off again.

I don't like dialogue tags, use only a few, and seldom anything other than 'he said,' or 'she said.' Hmmm. My editor doesn't like dialogue tags. Any of them. Almost every one of the 'he/she said' she deleted. Sometimes she changed a word or two, but mostly she just deleted them, or even put them at the end of a sentence instead of at the beginning, as I had them. In some places, I thought it was a little odd that she thought a 'he/she said' should be deleted, but overall, after giving it a final read-through, she had improved the smoothness of the read. Now to go over my next novel, and delete or replace the 'he/she saids' that I probably have too many of, no matter how few I originally thought I had. Umm, if you follow that...

There were a couple of times in Thief where she had inserted a phrase I just couldn't go along with. It didn't sound like me, or my writing. More than that, it just didn't sound like it went along with a 14 year old boy's way of thinking or talking in pre-Civil War times. Those were the places I really disagreed with my editor on. Those were the places where I changed what I had originally written, but didn't add what she had written. After each change, I explained my thinking and why I hadn't done what she wanted. I can only hope we are still on the same page! I have a good working relationship with my content editor, and am going to work hard at keeping it that way. I also have a line editor, but I don't know who she is or when I will get her edits.

All in all, it was a good edit, nothing major, and nothing to do with plot, characterization, setting, or dialogue...except for the tags.

When you work with an editor, how many times do you disagree with her/him? How far are you allowed to go in disagreeing, or do you allow yourself to disagree at all? It would be interesting to see how other writers work with an editor, and what differences there are in philosophy in working with them.

As for me, I'm now wondering what my "second round of edits" will be like!

Until next time,
That's a wrap.