Wednesday, January 27, 2021

First Response From My Editor

Ha! Two non-IWSG posts in a row. Armageddon approaches. 

The sample edits for the first ten pages of my WIP came back this week, and I was happy enough with the editor’s comments that I’ve decided to go with her. My biggest concerns with my writing revolve around my word choices, pacing problems, and poorly constructed sentences, and her edits definitely focused on those areas. 

One aspect of my story that bothered her, however, was the way I portrayed a secondary character. He didn’t seem real to her. She felt "Mr. Fielding" was too much of cartoon caricature. My critique partners had mentioned something along the same lines, so this wasn’t a complete surprise. This chapter was written a long time ago, back when I was simultaneously working on my Hogwarts fan fiction. For those of you who remember reading the Harry Potter books or saw the movies, I was envisioning Vernon Dursley when I wrote this character. Short, a bit overweight, and a bit of a buffoon who was more worried about himself than others. 

Now I want this story to be fun, so I have plenty of crazy characters sprinkled throughout the story, but my presentation of Fielding was apparently a bit over the top. More middle grade than adult. I’ve reworked the chapter many times over the years to solve this problem, but apparently, I still haven’t gone far enough. So its back to the drawing board again. Fortunately, there’s no hurry. It’ll be many months before the editor can fit me in. 

So tell me, what was your initial response the first time you got something back from your editor?



  1. You have time to fix the character.
    I remember going several rounds of editing with my publisher. Amazing what we don't see in our own work.

  2. You might find it's easier to fix than you think. I haven't worked with an editor, but my critique partners' suggestions are always really helpful.

  3. The first time I got feedback from my editor, she pointed out some recurring themes in my work. I write a lot about illnesses and dysfunctional families, apparently. I never intended to do that, but once my editor pointed it out to me, those themes are undeniably there. I think a good editor helps you see the things you don't realize you're doing in your writing, both the good and the bad.