I am in the middle of a particularly messy edit right now. In case you’re wondering what that looks like, here’s a little diary of my thought process when I’m asked to make changes to my work:
Me, during editing: Well I did TOO put that part in and I don’t know why you couldn’t see it!
Me, also during editing: Well, I suppose, I could add it a little more. Hit it a little harder. There. Fine. Are you happy?
Me, also during editing: Oh. Wow. That’s not a bad bit of prose there. I guess it was good I put that in. Fine. It works. Hunh.
Me, turning in editing: Thank you so much for the helpful edit–I think it’s a much stronger piece of work now. We do good work!
Me, during editing: Well MAYBE I just don’t WRITE those characters the way you want me too. MAYBE that’s my CHOICE.
Me, also during editing: Well, I guess I HAVE written ONE of those characters… maybe two. Maybe three. Shit, weren’t they in a series? But THIS GUY isn’t like that.
Me, also during editing: Maybe he’s a little like that. Fine.
Me, turning in editing: I emphasized that character’s good points–he seems like less of a turdwhacker now.
Me, during editing: WHY CAN’T YOU SEE MY GUY IS WONDERFUL, JUST WOUNDED?
Me, also during editing: Well, that does seem a little douchey– perhaps a wee bit of explanation.
Me, also during editing: Yeah, he maybe should be a little less…less him.
Me, turning in editing: I fixed that part where it looks like he was lashing out over nothing–he has some clear motivation now.
— Just for the record, folks? Having people criticize your work is never easy, but if they’re doing it to make you look better, to make your work shine brighter, it’s best to listen and mull before you make snap decisions.
I am SO grateful for editors who have my back.
Also? I”m sure I’ve been a douchewaffle sometimes–I can’t apologize enough. Apparently, writers have something of an ego problem. Go figure.