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7 Ways to Deal With Notes From Your Editor – Part 1

It’s here, the day you have been waiting for. Your editor has messaged you that your manuscript edits are complete. Your heart pounds as you save that edited work on your computer and then you open it. You hope to see only a few errors that won't take long to fix. But no; those few errors are just in page 1 and, the more you go through your document, the more your jaw drops. You don’t even make it to the end before you close the document and bang your head on the desk, cursing at anyone and anything.

Ten minutes pass and then you’re back, looking at them again. Optimistically, you decide that you can handle it. In fact, the more you look at it, the more helpful the edits seem to be.

For a first time writer, getting an edited manuscript back can be a reality check. For many, the words “The End” mean just that; its all over. To be honest, it’s only just starting and the editing part of the process could take as long as it did for you to write the book in the first place. But don’t panic; don’t stress yourself out. Follow these tips and you will get through this.

Tip One – Don’t Get Freaked Out

You might see more red pen or crossing out on your manuscript than you do your writing but if you don’t freak out over it, it won't be the end. Get it into your mind that even the most experienced of writers go through this every time. This is an important part of your journey and a heavy edit could be considered as your initiation into it. This is the way that the writer within you grows.

Tip Two – Review Each Edit One At A Time

Don’t try to work through it all in one go. Break it down. Look at each edit as if it were the only one and make a decision – do you accept the edit or reject it? If you do reject, be sure to note why so that the editor can see your reasoning. If you are using Microsoft Word, it has a handy Track Changes feature and a way of adding notes to the document – use them.

A word here – if you decide to reject most of your edits, you need to have a conversation with your editor. Either you don’t have a clue as to the standards of grammar and publishing or you have a bad editor – that happens!

One of the biggest downsides for any editor is to have their name attached to a book that is published with hundreds of errors that they told you needed correcting. Either your editor and you need to rectify the situation between you or your ego needs to come down a peg or two and you need to learn why those edits are right.

If you seriously can't agree on what your editor says needs doing, consider hiring another independent editor and asking them to go through it and then compare the two manuscripts.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anne-Marie Reynolds