Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Working With Editors: The Working Relationship

Here's the next post in the series on working with editors. Today's entry is on the working relationship between writers and editors, and how to make the most of it.

First, it's best to send your best work to an editor, otherwise you waste time and money. Once you polish the draft, here are some tips:
  • Referrals are preferable, even in a nonpaying arrangement.
  • Problems will arise, so professionalism, even with friends, is key.
  • Don't react immediately when you see the corrections, which are likely to be more extensive and different than you thought. Instead, put the manuscript aside for a day.
  • When you come back to it, review all the observations before passing judgment. Then test the changes by implementing them. Most often, you'll see improvement.
  • If you're still in doubt, write out your questions and review them before sending them to your editor, making sure to use the opportunity for clarity and not to sni
  • Each writer-editor relationship is unique, so don't be surprised if your experience differs from that of others even when you're working through a referral.
  • At some point the honeymoon will be over, but this can be an opportunity for the relationship to mature. How you handle it sets a precedent for how you'll handle other aspects of the writing life, like reviews and publicity.
  • Remember, this is a business — for both of you.

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