Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dealing with comments

When I first started out in this business, I thought that if an editor told you to change something you had to do what she said.

Now, I think that when an editor makes a comment, you have to do SOMETHING -- you can't just leave it as you had it -- but even good editors aren't always right about WHAT. That's why they're editors, not writers. So when an editor comments on something, I take it as a sign that it's not working, but may come up with an idea that works better as I rewrite.

And I'd always, always like to do the rewriting myself! I've worked with  two publishers who just did it themselves without even consulting me (NOT Little, Brown!) and would never, ever want to work with them again. I think this is highly unusual, though.

What about you? How do you (authors and editors) handle comments and rewrites?  How much rewriting do you, as an author, do in response to comments? How do you, as an editor, expect your authors to respond -- and what do you do if they don't do anything?


Unknown said...
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Tiny Robot Books said...

I listen to all suggestions before deciding if I agree with them or not. Everyone has a different opinion; whether it be your editor, the illustrator, friends, family, kids… but if you listen to them all it almost becomes writing by committee and you risk losing your original message in the crowd.

It's definitely a fine line...