Editorial Letter - Friend or Foe?
While waiting for my much anticipated first editing letter, I stalked the depths of the internet to hunt down every bit of info I could find about what I should expect. The results were somewhat nerve-wracking. I read a few editing letter horror stories that had me positive that I'd receive a 200+ page editorial letter, my manuscript would be scribbled over with a thick endless red line, the package would be sent to me in caution tape, and I'd have a three hour and twelve minute deadline to complete my rewrites. Yes, I have an overactive imagination... after all, I'm a writer. The point is, I worried myself silly... for nothing.
My editorial letter turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I received a two and a half page (helpful) letter, plus (more helpful) write ups within the text of my manuscript accompanying the letter. The process was fascinating - from finding out what my editor liked and what she thought could be stronger, to brainstorming how I should assimilate her suggestions within my storyline, to the nose to the grindstone rewrites - I enjoyed the whole collaborative process. This was a stark contrast from the editing horror stories I read, and (I think) much closer to what most writers experience with their first editing letters. Don't get me wrong, revisions are not devoid of hard work. Before my first round edits were complete, I had adjusted some plot points, rewrote a scene or two, tweaked a character, deleted portions of text, and changed dialogue here and there. The finished product was a polished version of my original manuscript - a stronger story! And who doesn't want that?
So, to those debut authors chewing your fingernails to nubs while waiting for your first editing letters (I feel your pain), I'd like to remind you that your editor would not have acquired your manuscript if he/she didn't like it and wanted to change everything about it. Your editor is invested in you and your book, and he/she wants to see both succeed. The suggestions in your editorial letter are meant to help your book succeed, not to give you sweat drenched nightmares. It's a constructive, invaluable process that will teach you so much. So, absorb the experience positively as one that will heighten your writing, and know that you have a talented editor in your corner. And please, don't hide from your letter behind a stack of Brawny paper towel rolls. Your editorial letter won't bite, I promise.
In closing, to answer the question of this blog post title - friend or foe? I vote friend...
Please come back for my future posts chronicling my take on the publishing process.
*Best Wishes & Lipstick Kisses*