Friday, January 26, 2007

The Editor: A Friend in the Sandbox

Today I turned in the last of my line edits on "Restorer's Son" (the second in a series coming out from NavPress). What struck me as I worked was how much FUN it is to work with an editor. So much of a writer's work is solitary. I find myself second-guessing, uncertain whether something is working, stumped on how to solve certain problems that come up. I thrive on this interactive part of the work, where she marks the text with helpful specific improvements. "This is good, but too much of a tangent. Consider cutting?" or "The last three lines were choppy, add some transition."

It's as if I'd been sitting in a sandbox alone, building little clumsy castles - and then a friend comes along with some great shovels and buckets and offers to help.

The good news is, even not-yet-published authors can invite this sort of collaborative support. Join a critique group. Find a few trusted critique buddies - other writers who will give feedback. Invite them into your sandbox while you play.

May your castles all turn out beautiful!
Sharon Hinck


WayneThomasBatson said...

But, Sharon, what if this friend comes along and lops off the top third of your castle? ;-)

Sharon Hinck said...

Okay, I was trying not to go there.

Actually, I just had a critique buddy looking at a chapter that was still not working after I'd done about ten versions of it. Her suggestion was, "Maybe this doesn't belong at all."

I axed the whole chapter (yes, it hurt!) and it solved the pacing of a large section of the manuscript.

As long as they don't kick sand in my eyes, I even appreciate friends who lop off parts of the castle.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Faithful are the wounds of a friend.

Valerie Comer said...

I agree that sandbox companions are great friends to have. And if they are also trying to build great castles of their own, they can be terrific sounding boards on the finer points of architecture.

Okay, I'm getting WAAAY too much mileage out of your comparison!

Sharon Hinck said...

Hey, Val, I LOVE a great metaphor. :-)