Author of Murder is Revealing and upcoming Dark Blood Awakens.
Ramblings and Reflections
This week, I shared with my critique group my disappointment with my copy editor. Actually, it was more like anger. How dare she criticize my manuscript? Oh right, that’s her job. One of the hardest things for a writer is placing distance between themselves and their work.
I have only one child, a son, who is now an adult. No pets, not even a garden right now since I’m living in an apartment while they constructed my home. All my interests and energy focus on my writing career. Because I have a non-clinical medical job, once I leave work there are no patient calls, lab results, or hospital patient requiring my time. However, there are multiple aspects of my writing career to address. Articles and book reviews for the newsletters, coordinating with editors, and managing advertising—to name a few.
Despite hiring the copy editor—and paying her—I cringed when I reviewed her edits. It irks a writer to be edited. Though we understand the value of the editor, it still irritates. Once I calmed down, consumed a few cookies, and drank my tea, I reconsidered the copy editor’s remarks. As usual, the copy editor provided apt criticism.
Although I disagree with the use of had in several sentences, her feedback improved my manuscript—and it matters. I want to share stories with readers, but I don’t want them distracted by poor sentence structure or incorrect punctuation. While I’m not a grammar snob, I have stopped reading books because of poor writing. As a self-published author, I don’t want a reader’s first comment to be “This is a self-published book.” While I’m not embarrassed to be self-published, I understand it places my novels at a disadvantage. Like applying for a physician clinical position where employers weigh my state college medical degree beneath that of an ivy league graduate.
Editors are an essential part of publishing, independent or traditional. But anytime someone critiques my novel, I become defensive before my rational mind reminds me of my goal—publishing a good book. Share your experience with editors at news@MichelleCorbier.com