Category: author editor relationships

Speaking of Edits…

I swear this all happened last night because the previous post I wrote discussed the relationship between editors and authors.

I’m talking about a new stand alone short story that’s coming out soon titled, BILLABONG BANG, with a Jan. 14 release date. It’s sort of a coming of age story and the character has two fears: one is sexual and the other is a phobia of water. But I also just had a short story released in a SEX AND TOYS anthology this week with (I usually post a cover photo, but this one, although I totally love it, might be too steamy for a pg rated blog), and that story also has a character who is dealing with a sexual phobia and a fear of heights. The differences are vast, especially when it comes to the sexual phobia’s themselves. But I didn’t want the new stand alone to even remotely resemble the short story in the anthology, so I’ve been going back and forth with my editor at all week making sure it doesn’t.

And last night she sent me a preliminary pdf file of the book and I almost said, “great, let’s go with this.” But I stopped and thought for a moment. There was still something bothering me about this book and I had to get it right. First, I thought there was too much back story in the beginning. Second, the main character is of African descent and I thought I’d gone into too much of a description about this. Personally, I believe the only way to get rid of racism altogether is to start thinking and seeing with colorblind eyes. And while it’s important to put something in that describes the character’s race sometimes, there’s no need to be too obvious about it. At least that’s how I view it. Someone else might disagree.

Ultimately, this fix was simple. I just cut the first 1,000 words from the story, made two line changes, and sent the revise back to my editor…with a few huge apologies, and many thanks. Could the story have gone to publication as it was? Certainly. But would the readers have been bored to death with the first few pages? Absolutely.

And my wonderful editor, Dalia, didn’t say a word. She made the changes, sent me the pdf early this morning, and it looks ready to move now. This, to me, is the perfect example of a positive working relationship between author and editor. It’s back and forth, give and take. And even though most books and stories don’t have as many complications as BILLABONG BANG did, it always nice to know that if there are they can be worked out well.