Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Bye Bye Darlings: The Editing Gauntlet by Alice Zorn


The author of today’s re-blog suffered through the pains of traditional publishing; though, even self-published writers could learn from what she learned from her editors…

QWF Writes

Farine Five Roses
Alice Zorn’s new novel, Five Roses, is named after the FARINE FIVE ROSES sign that marks the southwest horizon of Montreal and Pointe St-Charles, where the novel is set. Photo: Alice Zorn

You’ve finished your novel manuscript and you even – finally! – get a publisher. It took ten years. You have Neanderthal muscles across your brow from frowning at the computer screen. But now you’re home-free. Bingo!

Then you get the first slew of comments from your editor. She’s the objective eye who sees what the book can be, but isn’t yet. Does it begin in the best possible place? Is there too much exposition? Does it have structural integrity? What about the ending? She tells you all the darlings you cherished while you were writing don’t belong unless they serve the book. The clever turns of phrase, the crisp dialogue, the research that shows off your erudition…

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