Monday, April 7, 2008

Help! I've been edited.

Today I received a second email from the editor. She sent my piece back in an attached file--with her edits. (see previous post for beginning of this "story") Just in case the editor googles my title---and my blog comes up---I'm going to write the title with letters between the words. The manuscript is called "When / God * Rode/ a* Dirt *Bike"
The Letter says:

I've edited this piece. Mostly just tightened the writing. Please look it over and make sure I didn't change your voice or the intent of the piece with my edits.

I would be interested in looking at other photos you might have to go with this article. The one you sent is good but if you have others to consider that is fine too. All photos will be returned to you. I will need to know who to credit for them if they are used with the article.

I looked at the edits and slowly became concerned. I felt the edits were done hastily, as there were some mistakes in her edits. For example: "As we drove across the desert I look out the window." She forgot the "ed" of looked. As I scanned the other edits...I felt some of the passion had left the piece... She took out some good adjectives, and deleted some transitions. Now it sounded so abrupt. I thought...I'll go with it...I'll work with it...but I'll make suggestions back to her. I went through all the edits--improved them...or accepted them...or made suggestions.When I was done, I scrolled to the top of the page and to my surprise, I noticed she had changed my title. SIGH. She wants to call it Dirt */ bikes "/ and God.

I spoke with my husband. He is a composer. He deals with stuff like this. He said that if I was uncomfortable...don't let her publish it that way.

Now normally, I do not mind being edited. But this piece has already been edited by 7 people in my critique group. Yet still...a writer MUST be flexible or she will not get published. A writer MUST NOT have a big ego. But this feels different. Some of her edits diminished my main point.

After much thought, I'm going to do what I have never done before. I'm going to tell her (very diplomatically and nicely) I'm going to tell her that some of the edits don't feel quite right for the piece. I'll tell her that I'm still shopping the piece ...and would prefer to keep it as this point. I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M GOING TO TELL HER SHE CAN'T HAVE IT!

What will be her response? Will she back down and let me keep some things I think are essential to the piece?

I'll report back on Wednesday some time.


Anonymous said...

I think you made the right decision. We need to feel right about the things that go out under our name.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon,

Being edited is a part of the game. Most editors don't like adjectives. Or adverbs.

Instead of saying a final "no", why not send her the edit you came up with and ask if she incorporate your changes into the article.

Don't forget. You want "trouble" to have an editor, too.

Some advise from a much edited writer.


Sharon Lynne said...

Okay girls (from my critique group)

I implemented both your ideas.

I kept all her edits except a few that I couldn't live with. Then I sent her an attachment with my suggestions. I also sent her 4 new title suggestions. We'll see if they "fly".

Dawn said...

It has to be painful! I ho;e you get it published with your "voice" not hers!