E is for…


I’ve taken on the challenge of an A-Z during April – one post each day on a chosen theme. My theme? Books and writing, of course…

E is for Editor

Book No. 5 (and yes, I’m close to landing on a title) is off being assessed by my fabulous editor so it’s a great opportunity to talk (again) about what an editor does.

It’s at about this stage of the process that I stop stressing about finishing the book and begin stressing about whether my editor will like it – and that’s the ludicrous part of the process. Even though it means so much when she comes back and tells me she’s enjoyed the book, it’s more about how it can be made better.

And there’s the rub. The thing is, I’m not contracting her to like my book – her job is to help me make this the best damn book that I can write at this point in time. Yet, I still want her to like it.

So what does a good editor do? A good editor is behind every single book that you’ve enjoyed. Well, almost every story – there are some writers who can sell craploads of books without having engaged an editor. I’m not that writer.

A great editor gets into your head and somehow knows the story that you’re trying to tell and makes suggestions to help you tell it better. A great editor makes you want to work harder to be a better writer – and in the process make her own job harder to find suggestions to help you tell it better.

A great editor calls you out when you’re being lazy (and yes, I already know which passages they are in Book No. 5) and when you’re over-writing. A great editor helps you see the story as a reader rather than as a writer. She’s the voice of reason when that line that sounds so incredibly clever in your own head falls decidedly flat on the page.

A great editor makes the suggestions and lets you make your own mind up about which way you want to go – after all, it’s your story. Inevitably though, she’s right. Not that she ever gets the credit for that. And that’s the whole point of a great editor – it should appear to be seamless to the reader. A great editor wants your book to be the best it can possibly be – even though it’s your name on the front of it.

Having said all of that, I’ve just written a killer line for Book No.6 that I so hope get’s the little “love this” comment when finally it gets in front of her…but that’s another couple of months down the track.

Other posts about editors and what to expect…

How I Found My Editor

What to Expect From A Structural Edit

What To Expect From A Copy Edit

It’s Lovin’ Life Linky time…

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to look for our happy and share it about a bit. The Lovin’ Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin’ Life: Deep Fried Fruit, DebbishSeize the Day ProjectWrite of the Middle50 Shades of Age,  and, of course, me.

18 Replies to “E is for…”

    1. Usually the publisher has the final say. I’m an indie author so I make the decision. I know so many traditionally published authors who haven’t been at all happy with their titles.

  1. Hi Jo, how have I missed your previous AtoZ posts? I will certainly catch up. I think you would need to be a certain type of person to be an editor with lots of attention to detail and perhaps being able to dish out some tough love or advice. I admire you for being an author and having the talent to write!

    1. I have so much respect for my editor. So much. I really must remember to link up on Wednesdays, I truly must!

    2. I have so much respect for my editor. I really must remember to link up on Wednesdays, I truly must!

    3. I didn’t link up properly – I left it until the last minute to decide to participate…as per usual.

  2. E is for editor is perfect for your theme of course! I really enjoyed hearing your take on the role of an Editor and it sounds like you’ve got a fabulous relationship with yours! Now tell me … can you weave F is for France into this series? Hmm? lol #TeamLovinLife

    1. Sometimes I’m not sure which part I love the most – starting a new idea or doing the structural work to turn it into something I can be proud of.

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