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Hmm, rather prophetic

I got my editorial comments back for my Stargate novel this morning.

To quote "Mr. Tanner" - "The critics were concise but no one could accuse them of being over kind."


I read through some of the comments I received and I went through the various stages one usually goes through. However at the end, the editor asked if I wanted to see the actual edits and we could discuss doing a re-write and set a new delivery date.

I wanted to reply - "Hey, you only gave me eight weeks to finish this and I have a regular job on top of that." "Hey, you approved that part in the synopsis and now you don't like it?" "Hey, if I had more time, maybe I would have caught a couple of those facts I got wrong."

What did I reply?

"Sorry it didn't work for you. Absolutely I would love to see the edits. I appreciate you giving me another shot."


Because that's what being a professional is. I had submitted something they found sub-par. It's their call, it's their license. It was time to take the big-boy pill and check the ol' ego into the hotel for a while. Yeah, it hurt. But, I've always told people, if you can't take critique, don't be a writer. Time to live up to my own words.

I received the edits this evening after I came home and read through them. I agree with about 90% of them. Still I have to go through and see what's left in the story, review the comments again from the initial letter and then go back to the editor with a plan on how to bring the story more into line with what they want it to be.

I knew the initial edits might be rough. It's a new franchise for me to work for and a new editor to learn what they like and don't like. I have to admit, I didn't expect it to be this bad, but they didn't kick me off the project. I'll take that to mean they must have seen something in my writing that made them want to salvage this.

*rolls up the sleeves*

Time to get to work. More to follow after I sleep on the edits I read.


( 9 howls — Howl with the Pack )
Jun. 17th, 2009 08:22 am (UTC)
Bar pianist
It's a good attitude to have. I'm the same with my techwriting.
Jun. 17th, 2009 12:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Bar pianist
Actually, I'm worse about my tech writing, but that's because I invest so little of myself in it. It's pretty mechanical writing, so while I *do* do my best, I don't take anything personally. It's their document, it's their money and I'm happy to cash the check.

My own writing I take a tad more personal, but there's nothing to be gained by picking a fight with the editor. Now that I've reviewed their comments, I'm already working on a strategy to improve the book based off of their comments and something I thought of this morning over the morning coffee.

Life goes on.
Jun. 17th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Bar pianist
Ah, you see I rather revel in the interactivity. But then, I might feel differently when the time comes.
Jun. 17th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Bar pianist
Oh, I'll argue over something that I think "needs" to be in the document. But, in the long run, if the customer wants X, then the customer gets X, since they're cutting the checks. All I can do it try to steer them in a direction that's mutually beneficial for both of us.

My motto with tech writing is "Toyota". (You asked for it, you got it.)
Jun. 17th, 2009 10:37 am (UTC)
It was time to take the big-boy pill and check the ol' ego into the hotel for a while.

The running joke in my crew is, "Take 48 hours to be pissed off, and then notice they're right."

They didn't kick you off the project. Sometimes, that has to be encouragement enough.
Jun. 17th, 2009 12:59 pm (UTC)

Sometimes I think going through Basic Training prepared me for being a writer.

Let it all roll off you, pick out the nuggets of wisdom and drive on.
Jun. 17th, 2009 12:47 pm (UTC)
This is how edit comments work with me. The email arrives. I vaccilate over reading it. I read it. I become peeved. I wonder how they could possibly fail to understand the scope of my writerly genius. I put the comments away. I grumble to my girlfriend. The next morning I read the comments again. I say "Actually, they might have a point. Maybe this could be better..." Then I work with the editor and together we improve the piece.

Kudos to you for being professional about such things and discussing it; too often I see pro writers who should know better bitching and whining on blogs, bleating about their bruised egos - but this is the job we do, and with tie-ins, more so. Obviously, there's a line between co-operation and rolling over that only the author can set, but by and large its a case of suck it up, and get back to work.

Jun. 17th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
Believe me, I went through all those stages (outside of grumbling to the wife . . . I think I'm calm enough to talk to her about it now).

There's no point in kvetching on my blog or Twitter about this. First off, if I want to get more work from this editor, it serves no purpose in airing any dirty laundry in public. All that does is mark me as an "problem" author. Just like I don't post political or religious commentary on my blog - (I don't care about other people's political opinions and I'm sure they could care less about mine) - there's no point in showing everyone I can act like a five-year old by having a temper tantrum over a bad review or a tough editing session.

Besides, it wasn't the worst editorial letter I've ever gotten (comments or edits). *grin*

I'm pretty sure I've come up with some ideas to kick back to the editor on how to salvage this project AND the good part is, I may actually have some *time* to do more in-depth edits this time.

A better book. That's win-win in my eyes.
Jul. 2nd, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
It sure sounds familiar! Back in my days of writing "Sweet Valley High" and other YA series, I decided that's pretty much par for the course, at least until you're an old hand with the particular series and editor. And I expect the editors know it, too. I mean, how satisfied can they really expect to be with a manuscript they've given you an entire 2 months to write?

But speaking of Stargate, I'm still eager to write a Stargate book. Unfortunately, I haven't heard back from the editors, since e-mailing them weeks ago for more info. I'm thinking it's because I sent it to the general e-mail address on the website, instead of to a specific editor's specific e-mail address. Would you mind sending me the name and e-mail address of the editor I should be asking? You can e-mail me at petrini1@aol.com. Thanks!
( 9 howls — Howl with the Pack )

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