It's Monday. Must be Blather Time

It’s Monday again. Spent the entire weekend unplugged from the phone and the computer for the most part. Everyone in the family was sick so we brought out the blankets, pillows, orange juice and set up in the living room and watched movies. All three Matrix movies (and I love all three). We started the Terminator movies a while back so we caught 2 and 3 (but skipped 4, I think it may be a bit much for the littlest) Jaws, several episodes of Firefly (thank you amazon gold box! We picked up the series on blu ray last week – though we did already have it on DVD, yes, I’m a dork) oh the Care Bears movie with Oopsie bear, you might guess mini me chose that one.

Had to fill out another hundred thousand forms for the kids’ schools. Seriously, how many copies of THE EXACT SAME FORM do they need? Every year it seems I fill out at least 30 per kid and over half are the exact same info over and over. Why the need all that in one file is beyond me. It’s inefficient and a waste of my time and it makes me cranky.

Second Chances, my upcoming contemporary erotic romance (BDSM) is up for pre-order at Amazon!. I also put up an excerpt from the book’s opening at my website if you want to check it out.

Re: Second Chances – this is an expanded and revised version of the novel published originally in 2005. The story outline is the same, but I do hope smoothed out and fleshed out where it needed to be. Thanks so much to Angela James for providing such amazing editing and insight!

(and now a little about editing and being edited)

I hear writers complain about editing and being edited from time to time. My words are not perfect and being edited is not being censored (I read this statement the other day from a newbie writer who decided to go vanity publishing because she didn’t want to be edited because it was censorship). You are not perfect. No one is. Editors can make a good book into an amazing book with the right suggestions and critique.

Writers are people, which means we can be defensive about our work and perhaps a little reticent to make changes. Sometimes, I may disagree that those changes being suggested are the best thing for that book. So what I try to do is really think about the why of it and then iterate that to my editor. Sometimes we might go back and forth a few times. Often I’ve found when this happens it’s because the editor and author are arguing for and against the change for different reasons. Usually together you can reach a place where each sees the point and the author can address the issue (if there still is one) without eroding whatever it was she feels is integral to the story.

Finding a good editor is more than just being assigned one. And it’s more than being a good editor teamed with a good writer. It’s also about fit. Some people just don’t fit right. Not because either is bad or wrong, but because (despite sounding dramatic) the editing relationship is an important mesh of style and personality. I have to be able to trust everything I’m seeing on the pages and she has to be able to trust that I can, and WILL fix problems. If all one person does is refuse to change, that’s not a good fit.

I’m so fortunate to have some really wonderful editors. Leis Pederson who edits me for Berkley Heat and Sensation – I love her editing! I’ve brainstormed with her, she’s helped me with many outlines as well as content edits. I respect her eye and her work. Angela James – Angie has been editing me since 2006. The longest publishing relationship I’ve had! She will slap me silly when my characters do something stupid. But her criticism isn’t empty at all. She knows how I think and how I write and she edits to that. That’s a big skill! That’s the sign of a great editor – it’s not just about reading a manuscript and saying where it is weak, it’s saying so in the way the author will hear it best. My newest editor, kind enough to take me on when Angie left Samhain, is Anne Scott. I was soooo nervous at first (not because of anything Anne had done, but it was change and whoo boy change is hard), but Angie recommended her to me and on every level so far, I’ve found Anne to be fabulous. I respect her eye and her edits and I’m most definitely looking forward to working with her on my next book.

This is NOT to say all editors are right for all authors. Sometimes you have a bad fit. I have and it sucked. It was an already bad time in my life and the stress of dealing with an absentee, distracted and not very good editor taught me a lot of lessons. I learned when to stand up for myself and that there’s a cost. The cost was high, but it was worth it in the end. Those lessons have served me as a writer many times since then as well. Sometimes you have to say no. And sometimes you have to ask for a new editor and if that process is a way to punish you, there are other publishing houses in the world. There are a lot of crappy publishers with horrible editing. Not being edited isn’t a good thing. Being edited poorly is not any better – but they’re the same really.

Anyhoodle – just my quick shout out to all the people in our lives who push us to be better

2 comments to “It's Monday. Must be Blather Time”

  1. Rachel Riddles
    September 20th, 2010 at 8:58 am · Link

    Hey Lauren, Hope your family is feeling better. My littlest boy has an asthma flare-up last week, of course when I took the week off. So it was Disney Pixar extravoganza at my house.

    I am a newbie writer, or I guess I should say I finally quit talking about wanting to do it and finished my first novel. My editor is someone I went to high school with and met at our reunion. I can’t wait to get the first chunk back. I want to be published and to do so I need someone who is going to help me make it the best that it can be.

    But like you said about finding the right fit, I truly hope she is the right fit for me.

    Thanks for all your little posts I love reading them. Have a great week!!!

  2. Taige Crenshaw
    September 23rd, 2010 at 7:40 am · Link

    Sorry everyone was sick. Hope you all are feeling better now.

    Been there and done that with editing. It is very true that it all goes by the fit. Had my own “bad fit” and also during a difficult time in my life. Yep it taught me a lot about standing up for me. And yep there is a cost but it was worth it in the end.

    Each experience you have either in life or no matter you career is a lesson. They all help shape you and who you ultimately will be.