Tag Archives: good editors do this

Says the Editor: Verb? Adjective?


Is it a verb? Is it an adjective? No! This is a picture!

Seriously, though…

I had an interesting experience I wanted to pass along, because it’s about worldview, and it’s about word choice, and it’s about how every person brings something different to a piece and to the use of language, itself.

You see, I have a short story. I’ll be telling you more about this short story in the near future, but for now, let me say that I wrote a short story and I’m working with an editor on it. Yes, even editors use editors! (That’s because we understand the value of a second set of eyes, and we understand that it’s money well spent, and we understand how a fresh perspective (dare I say worldview can help us produce the best book — or in this case, short story — possible.)

And I used this phrase: At last, we quiet.

Or something like that. 😉

And my editor wanted me to change it to At last, we quieted.

So I took a look. Because I brought her on board to help me, right? And… I realized that the piece is in present tense, which is kind of rare for me but there it is, and approving her change means… a tense change right in the middle of the piece.

I pointed that out to her. She looked it over, thought about it, agreed, but said something about the phrase still bothered her.

I took another look, both at her request and because, frankly, I was intrigued.

And it hit me. She didn’t like that I was using quiet as a verb. So I changed it to an adjective by adding a verb in there and we were both happy.

It was a few hours later that it hit me what a brilliant change that wound up being. It’s one of those small, subtle changes that no one will ever be aware of (although now that I’m pointing it out to you, you might), but it’s a verb that echoes back to the genesis of the story, the action that sets the character on the path that leads us to the point where she finally quiets.

But hopefully — and this is what really good writing does — that one small word change, that one insertion, will give the reader a more complete reading experience, will heighten the emotion even if they don’t know the hows or whys they got there. That the reader will come away with a bit of extra satisfaction that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.

This is why we use editors, friends. I sent her the best story possible. She helped me make it better.

More to come about it, so stay tuned.


#SaystheEditor Always Working


I’ve made friends with a couple of authors over the years. Some because they write Rock Fiction. Others because they are neat people. And still others because they are clients.

Sometimes, they fit into all three categories. I’m lucky like this.

One of them asked me to join NetGalley so I could read her upcoming release. The review will go up at The Rock of Pages once it’s written. (And oh! The Rock Fiction I’ve found there already! Whee!)

In maybe the second scene, I caught a mistake: one character goes from being barefoot to wearing something on their feet. In the same scene. And no, they didn’t slip into a pair of shoes.

So because I want good things for my friend, I dropped an e-mail to the publicist and the author. “Hey, guys. Can we fix this before the final version is released?”

I’m hoping the answer will be, “Someone else called it to our attention. Glad you did the same, and thanks.”

This is why you want a good editor working on YOUR books. I am always working, always looking out for my clients. My friends. All of the above.

Get on my calendar now. I’ve got openings, oddly enough. Take advantage before they’re gone.