10 things authors should NOT do by someone who did them all

6. Editors

In the beginning I argued with editors. The phrase ‘shivering like a new born foal’* in my first book arrived in the galleys as ‘shivering like a new born chicken.’ I was outraged, reinstated ‘foal’, to discover in print I’d written ‘fowl’. I’ve woken up in a cold sweat  when,  during  the  Iraq invasion, I wrote about friends who became ‘ dessert  warfare ’  armchair  experts.  I was saved that time.  A newspaper editor didn’t save me from ‘Bass Straight’.  It  appeared  in  the  banner heading too.  As I’m a humorist, they probably thought it was a joke. On the other hand, I’ve had a book editor insist that a character cannot walk ‘ through the door ’ but must walk ‘in at the door.’ Perhaps she was technically correct. I don’t know, but it sounded horrible. She added about 90 @s to the MS. I took them out and sent her an email with the 90 @s.  I  don’t  see  myself  as the hissy fit type.  Note  to  Self:  Be more gracious or shut the FU. We writers often assume our copy is  perfectly  clear  to others. It may not be. Now I’ll go all Jerry McGuire in the sting. To all my editors, who have saved me from my own arrogance or ignorance over the years, a big belated ‘thanks’.

Advertisements