Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Editor Has Corrupted Me!

I LOVE my editor at Ellora’s Cave! Love, love, love! She is like the Conan-Do-You-Want-to-Live-Forever-Valkyrie editor, I swear. She goes all bad-ass over my books, that’s for sure. Not only is she hilarious, sarcastic, efficient and willing to tell me that yes, I am a brilliant ar-teest who happens to have exquisite taste in shoes, but she is damn good at her job! So far I’ve learned I have a love affair with “that”, am an overstater of the obvious and can’t seem to filter out those doggone pesky filters…did I mention she has the patience of a saint?? Did I also mention the last manuscript I got back from her looked like a holy stigmata?? She is so thorough and so knowledgeable I felt like apologizing for being such a non-specific, filtering, pronoun-abusing schmuck! In a nutshell? She’s awesome!!

One of the cool things about having an editor who knows her stuff is learning from her/him with each book and round. Suddenly I’m aware of certain word choices that may take a reader out of my character’s head. Or I’m able to pinpoint superfluous words or phrases that just muddy up a sentence. I’m learning to write cleaner thanks to her… Yet there is a downside to her brilliant attention to detail. Once the awareness has kicked in, it is impossible to shut off. Self-editing is wonderful—especially when it enables you to turn in a tighter manuscript. But there are certain uh, things, one just should not edit…

* The bible. Do you know how blasphemous it feels to sit during service or bible study and critique scripture? Seriously though has anyone besides me noticed there are a ton of unnecessary “that”s, ambiguous “you”s, “thou”s and “him"s? While I should be concentrating on the patriarchs of faith, I’m restructuring the sentence so the correct nouns are modified and entering proper names instead of pronouns…am I going to hell? ‘Cause I kinda feel nitpicking God is like 10a. of the Ten Commandments…

* School newsletters and memos. A veritable smorgasbord of dangling modifiers, preposition-ending sentences and not enough commas! Okay, the last one is just my personal preference…

* Text messages. As one who is a hater of auto-fill, text messages send my inner editor into a tail spin! I know it is way more expedient to type “ure” and “u” and “btr” and “ty”…but I…can’t…do…it. And when I get a text with those—and a plethora of other abbreviations—in them, I need to type them out. Which makes my return message the size of 3 texts long. And if I notice I made a mistake after I hit send, it’s a compulsion to send a follow-up email apologizing, saying “I meant…” Yes. Really. I am this anal…

I sooo blame this on your beautiful mind, Violet!!

4 comments:

Wynter Daniels said...

LOL! I've learned something from every book after an editor has gotten hold of it! Yes - and I am now so much more in tune with correcting other people's communications!

Naima Simone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Naima Simone said...

LOL! Yaay! It's not just me!! Whew. I feel better...hee-hee!

Arial Burnz said...

Violet is DA BOMB!!!! I'm very lucky to count her as my very dear friend. I hear about your all the time from her, Naima. She RAVES about your creativity and says, "I want to wrap her up and put her under a tree, she's so damned precious!" I'm always happy to hear about you two having such a good time with the craft of writing. As it should be between an editor and author. Congratulations!! ;)

And yes, I know how learning these things spoils everything you read moving forward. I can't watch Revolution anymore because of the character inconsistencies in the show! BAH! Are you going to hell because you edit the Bible? Well...maybe. But you'll be in good company because I'm sure Violet and I will be there, too. ;)

That's my two pence...
Arial ;)