When this topic was first mentioned I was a little nervous. Responsibilities? Please, I'm almost 30 years old and still live with my mother. What do I know about responsibility?
Luckily, I have two brilliant women who post before I do every week. Reading Anny and Brynn's blogs this week made the lightbulb go on. Ohhhhh...I get it now.
I am the kind of writer who will bang out 12k in a day, then get emails from my editor after submitting that say things like "You have three Tuesdays in that one week." And I feel awful. I mean, this woman has a hard enough time removing my excessive commas, fixing my misspellings that are not, (i.e. "Wear are we going." *Groan.), and reworking my abysmal chapter breaks. She shouldn't have to make sure I know how the weeks work as well.
I am very fortunate to have such a wonderful editor, a woman who is so understanding and kind about pointing out my errors. She keeps me from making grave mistakes. (Get it? GRAVE...I write Vampires...nevermind.) She is my last line of defense between my mind and my readers and I can't thank her enough.
So today, I'd like to talk about a writer's responsibility to his/her editor. Your editor has a tough job. The worst job really. She has to take your baby, your book, your hard work...and tear it down until it is readable. She has to hit that send key and know you will be railing against her, bitching and moaning that she doesn't understand why your character would do that thing she is questioning. Well, if your editor doesn't get it...neither will your reader. If you don't explain it in the book, the person reading it cannot pull it out of your brain six months later when your book hits the shelf.
Fighting with your editor is a bad idea. She is almost always right. (I did say almost. A writer's first responsibility is to themselves, if they do not agree with the changes an editor wants to make that is their right...I'm referring to MOST cases. I do not expect any one to allow their editor to completely change a plot line or anything. Please do not get angry and scream at me that your editor is an idiot...mine is not and that is the only experience I have so shush.) In regards to word choices, accurate history requirements, and how many Tuesdays are in any given week, she has the upper hand in almost every case. And honestly, she is just trying to help you. She is saving you from future embarrassment on issues that WILL come back to bite you on the ass.
Now, as Anny so eloquently put it...the internet is forever. DO NOT...let me repeat that for you in the back DO NOT EVER slam your editor in email, on chat loops, on other people's blogs, you know what, keep your trap shut on the internet completely. In case you weren't aware let me be the first to inform you:
Your editor has the internet. They probably read your blogs. Their friends have the internet too and will like nothing better than to be able to call your editor and say "Oh my God did you see what your writer said on so and so's blog about her editor being nothing more than a baboon brandishing a stick?" Yeah, DO NOT EVER trash your editor.
Did you know that editors also talk to each other? Yup. And if you trash one...they will all know and your career could be over. Do you really want to end up at a desk job for the rest of your life because you didn't like your editor changing "Was going to" to "Would?" No, I don't think you do.
So there is just one more thing to keep in mind when making your decision to become a writer. Anny and Brynn have done a great job, and I can't wait to see what Cindy and James have to share with us. By the end of the week some of you may well be asking yourselves "Why would anyone want to be a writer?"
Because we are crazy. :D