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No Direction Home
by Elizabeth Burns

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Product Description
Hunter Grayson flits from job to job, relationship to relationship, continent to continent until thetragic death of her parents brings her back to her childhood home.While trying to figure out how to move forward, she meets wild, fun Natalya Haven, who quickly becomes the sister she never had. But when Natalya moves in, their friendship unravels.
A second tragedy sends Hunter to a small town in New Mexico, a town out of her own past. For Hunter, that's more than a coincidence, that's fate. Natalya's family will fill the void in her life. Natalya's parents will become her parents. She and Natalya's brother will fall in love. But nothing is ever that simple....

Author Topic: Do you listen to your editor?  (Read 2227 times)  

Offline beccaprice

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2014, 09:24:36 AM »
Oh, yes, I listen to my editor! HazeLady (Martha) has a knack for putting her finger on exactly what's wrong, and has helped me immeasurably, even going so far as to review what I thought was the final PDF and finding errors I introduced while fixing other errors, and didn't think to have her go through it once again before sending it to the layout artist.

She always had a good suggestion when she spotted something wrong. A lot of the time, I used her ideas but my own words, and sometimes her suggested rephrasing was spot on.

I couldn't be more pleased with her. And when I've recovered from Heart of Rock, she's getting my next fairy tale to work on when she's not working on other people's novels.

ETA to spell her nom correctly - HazeLady
« Last Edit: March 29, 2014, 12:43:15 PM by beccaprice »

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Online Nathalie Aynie

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2014, 09:31:13 AM »
I love my editor, she makes everything perfect.

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Offline redacted

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2014, 10:16:34 AM »
Okay, obviously you listen to them a little bit. But, I mean, do you take their word as gospel?

I just got my book back from my publisher, they want me to comb over the work their editor performed. I see some things that I agree with, but, there is much that I do not agree with. Their editor seems to have a thing against fragmented sentences. We all know that part of writing fiction is that you don't have to play by the rules. I find fragments to be an effective style choice for making a scene snappy. For upping tension. Well, my editor apparently sees things differently and there are moments when I feel I'm losing my voice to their over enthusiastic red pen. So, I'm rejecting about half of the changes.

What about you? Do you often find yourself in these scenarios?

Sounds like they outsourced your book to a freelance editor who didn't do her due diligence and read your first book first before tackling your sequel. Upside is, you can say No. Downside? They might have given you the option, but it probably won't go down very well since I assume they've already paid your editor, and they won't be anxious to pay another one.

Good luck!

Offline sstroble

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2014, 10:19:27 AM »
I write more in a Stephen King style (though I don't do much horror), which drives editors crazy for some reason. Probably because they got their degree at Columbia or Harvard and I write like real human beings that didn't go to Columbia or Harvard talk.

I have been battling on how to present characters as real human beings that act, think, and sound realistic enough for readers to like them and keep on reading. Any editors that can show authors how to do that are worth their weight in gold.

Offline JV

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2014, 11:36:05 AM »
Sounds like they outsourced your book to a freelance editor who didn't do her due diligence and read your first book first before tackling your sequel. Upside is, you can say No. Downside? They might have given you the option, but it probably won't go down very well since I assume they've already paid your editor, and they won't be anxious to pay another one.

Good luck!

This is the same editor I worked with on my first novel. She has some good suggestions. She, however, doesn't like my usage of fragmented sentences. In the end, according to my contract, I get final say. So , I keep what I like and throw out what I don't. The editor has helped in many ways, I just don't take everything she suggests as if it's the gospel.

Offline Carradee

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2014, 01:32:01 PM »
Their editor seems to have a thing against fragmented sentences.

Are you sure they aren't misplaced modifiers?

Asking because that's something I've seen--otherwise perfectly fine sentence fragments that were actually misplaced modifiers, or overused so they made the text choppy rather than punchy.

That said, I have seen some horrific changes recommended by an editor. I can usually figure out why they made the suggestion, though. (I work as an editor, too, so that might have something to do with it.)

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Offline jlmarten

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #31 on: March 29, 2014, 01:43:59 PM »
Oh. That's tough. I have a friend who's trad-pubbed and her editor added in the word 'penis.' It was very inappropriate for the genre and she had to fight to keep the penis out  :P

Sounds like a gender issue.  ;D

When I'm finally ready for an editor, I intend to interview whomever I hire to find someone who agrees with all of my 'choices' unequivocally. Like use of single quotation marks where I should use two.

Offline redacted

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2014, 01:51:45 PM »
This is the same editor I worked with on my first novel. She has some good suggestions. She, however, doesn't like my usage of fragmented sentences. In the end, according to my contract, I get final say. So , I keep what I like and throw out what I don't. The editor has helped in many ways, I just don't take everything she suggests as if it's the gospel.

What! I'm surprised she tried fighting the same battle since (apparently) she already lost the last time. Your fragments must really bug her! LOL. I've worked with a half dozen editors and without fail, every single one of them have a little pet peeve that they absolutely can't stand. Sounds like your editor's is fragmented sentences because she doesn't seem to be wanting to let it go!

Offline JV

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2014, 05:59:08 PM »
What! I'm surprised she tried fighting the same battle since (apparently) she already lost the last time. Your fragments must really bug her! LOL. I've worked with a half dozen editors and without fail, every single one of them have a little pet peeve that they absolutely can't stand. Sounds like your editor's is fragmented sentences because she doesn't seem to be wanting to let it go!

Yeah, I'm still going through the edit for my manuscript. I'm taking my time even though the publisher wants it back sooner rather than later. But, I'm a quality over quantity guy and I'll only put out 2 or 3 books a year, max. She has some good suggestions in terms of phrasing and caught a couple punctuation errors that I missed, so it's definitely been helpful in that regard.

Offline Carol M

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2014, 06:55:57 AM »
In fiction, a good writer knows when to break the grammar rules, such as using fragments for effect. A good editor will know when to break the rules as well. Use your own judgment about making changes. It's your book. But if the publisher has the last word.... That's a different scenario.

Offline SimoneS

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2014, 07:11:47 AM »
I always listen to my editor. I don't accept 100% of her suggestions, but I always *listen* to them. In this case she is saying that, in her opinion, the sentence fragments are overused to the point of being distracting.

But you are the author. So if you disagree, then reject the change and move on. It's your voice, your product in the end. Personally, one of my manuscripts had so many semicolons it would have driven readers crazy. I had no idea I was using them 3-4 times per page. My editor went through and murdered them, which must have been a thankless task!

Offline Janet Michelson

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2014, 12:06:15 PM »
I'm going to give the OP the benefit of the doubt and assume that the fragments make sense. Sometimes a sentence can be missing a subject and the meaning is still clear.
Kind of like this sentence. Other times it is simply confusing to the reader, and that's unacceptable.

If your fragments make sense you should be allowed to keep them. I enjoy fiction that sounds like conversation, and we often speak in fragments, therefore it sounds normal and comfortable to the reader. The objective of good writing and good editing is to move effortlessly through a sentence. If you've accomplished that, your wishes need to be honored.

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Offline J.R. Tate

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2014, 01:02:15 PM »
There are times when I don't listen to my editor/beta readers. Sometimes I intentionally put a fragment for dramatic effect, etc. And sometimes their suggestion of word usage isn't exactly what I'm wanting (unless it is a definite typo that needs changing.) For the most part they always have good suggestions and I listen - let's face it, my rough draft is VERY rough!  ;D


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Offline AlexesR

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2014, 01:42:01 PM »
Sometimes I find that I have to read the editor's notes, disagree violently, walk away for a while, come back, and realize she does have a few valid points. As others have pointed out here, it's your book, your voice, and your name on the cover. Only you should make the final decision about what says and what goes.
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Offline Patricia McLinn

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2014, 04:35:16 PM »
I've had 27 books traditionally pubbed. Last count I'd had something like 26 line editors (sometimes more than 1 on a book) and 21 copy editors on the first 25 of those books, caused by turnover. Same line editor and copy editor for the past 2 -- a true luxury. I've been on the other side, too. I edited for newspapers, including 20+ years at the Washington Post.

I greatly appreciate that an editor can give me what I can't give myself -- a cold read of the manuscript. That's invaluable.

An editor should not let her/himself think, "That's not how I would have written that." An editor needs to be a chameleon, slipping inside the feel and rhythm of each writer, each work. Then s/he can make the work stronger, rather than merely making it different. I've been fortunate to have a few of those among the many.

As a previous poster mentioned doing, I go through the edits in several passes -- knock off the easy ones where I goofed/I agree with the change (and thank you very much, editor!), 2nd pass to whittle down more, possibly another intermediate pass, until it's down to the ones that bug the heck out of me.

I find I have to do these passes in shortish shifts, because my resistance builds up as I go along. Especially if I'm hitting a fair number of different-not-stronger changes.

Quote
Do you often find yourself in these scenarios?

Yes. 

I have a book with a couple Irish characters. While in Ireland, I taped (with permission) conversations to guide me on cadence and word order. Then a copy editor assiduously Americanized every bit of their dialogue and POV. I was fortunate the line editor agreed with me. I was unfortunate in the number of times I had to write "stet for style."

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Offline ronnierayjenkins

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #40 on: March 30, 2014, 05:24:28 PM »
If an editor offers you feedback, its a good idea to sit back, take a breath, wait a day or two, and then look at the problem. Editors wear a different hat, and a good editor can be very instrumental in the polishing phase of writing. If an agent believes there is a lot of fragmented sentences, then take a look at it. When you say you use them to create a sense of suspense, then use the actions of the character to set up that scene. Showing, not telling is key to writing. Hands shaking, sweat dripping, fingers running through hair with nervous scratches, instead of ..." Oh, no! They're coming." Make them hear the boots thumping when they come.
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Offline Cheryl M.

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Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« Reply #41 on: March 30, 2014, 06:54:17 PM »
Okay, obviously you listen to them a little bit. But, I mean, do you take their word as gospel?

I just got my book back from my publisher, they want me to comb over the work their editor performed. I see some things that I agree with, but, there is much that I do not agree with. Their editor seems to have a thing against fragmented sentences. We all know that part of writing fiction is that you don't have to play by the rules. I find fragments to be an effective style choice for making a scene snappy. For upping tension. Well, my editor apparently sees things differently and there are moments when I feel I'm losing my voice to their over enthusiastic red pen. So, I'm rejecting about half of the changes.

What about you? Do you often find yourself in these scenarios?

Any fiction editor should know the difference between voice fragments and errors. If you have an editor that doesn't seem to understand that, then there is one big suggestion I would offer: Contact the editor. Ask. There are many reasons why something like that might happen. Some show the quality of the editor, some show the quality of the author, some show the quality of the publisher, but none reflect upon each other.

It's possible s/he's a new-to-fiction editor. It's possible s/he is a new editor. It's possible you're choices may not be doing what you intend. It's possible the editor just shouldn't be editing fiction. It's possible the publisher has a style sheet that lists this as something to correct. Ask, discuss, and then determine if you can work together. The editor may not have any problems at all with you rejecting most of the changes. The editor may hate that you aren't listening. But honestly, I don't know of any editor that wouldn't say that at the end of the day, it's the author's choice. If an editor at a house tells you that something HAS to change, then it's probably not the editor's choice. Well, unless we're talking about the purchasing editor. If we're talking about a copyeditor, it's more likely to not be their choice.

Also, don't ever feel bad for rejecting changes. Ask questions if you need to. At least try to hear where your editor is coming from though before you reject. I know I have clients that often think I'm changing something for one reason, but it's something entirely different, and we never would have found the miscommunication if we hadn't talked about it. And I have some clients that accept my changes that I've misunderstood myself, and I've had to go back and say that I was wrong; we need to change it back. And I've had clients that were just plain right to say they don't agree with me. It's always a collaboration, and the system works best when you have open and frank discussion. Any editor worth their salt really only wants to help the author put out the best work possible.

It shouldn't take you long to figure out what kind of editor you have or if you can get along after the first round of questions on their work.