A great editor can accelerate your growth as a writer if you’re open to collaboration and receptive to constructive critique. In this article, we’ll share five tips for collaborating with editors so you can maximize the value and education you receive from the production process.
1.) Consider your final draft your first real draft.
Even the most polished final drafts often need a fair amount of editorial work. Take the story as far as you can, but consider that work the first leg of a much longer relay race. When you hand off the document to your editor, they begin the second leg.
2.) Acknowledge your deficits.
Editors do not expect writers to have a deep understanding of grammar, punctuation, mechanics, or style. We study that stuff so you don’t have to! Draw on your editor’s experience and education. Let them know in advance which skills you’d like help with, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
3.) See your editor as a valuable partner, not an adversary.
As editors, we want nothing more than to help you produce a publishable, memorable story. Like you, we take pride in our work and strive to ensure the result of our collaboration will be something you’re extremely proud of. We’re here to support you and help you succeed. If you aren’t happy with a suggested change, work with your editor to reach a compromise.
4.) Communicate often and honestly.
Editors understand that writing can be an intensely personal endeavor. We know that our feedback and suggested changes can feel like an insult—or worse, an assault—on your art. If you are feeling uncomfortable or upset at any point in the process, speak up! Editors do not set out to upset paying clients, nor do they want writers bottling their frustrations.
Don’t be afraid to ask your editor to explain their reasoning behind their editorial decisions and suggestions. (We cannot speak for others, but we love geeking out about words, grammar, punctuation, style, structure, and all things writing-related. Give us an excuse to geek out with you and put your mind at ease. We’ll jump at the opportunity.)
5.) Embrace the markup.
Consider markup a sign that your editor has been thorough. After all, our job is to give you the information and feedback you need to do your job more efficiently and to make your work more profitable. The editor on the other side of the document is likely hoping you’ll appreciate their effort. Neglecting to mention observations and failing to suggest corrections is an abdication of our duties.
We hope you found these tips helpful! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments. To retain our services, please fill in a consultation form on our contact page. You can also reach us via email at [email protected].