My Editor and a New Story

What do  you think of editors? Are they wonder workers, or are they Anchors holding writers back?

I mentioned previously that I sold a short story to be offered as a kindle book. It is being published by Weekend Reads. Of course, they did not simply publish my manuscript as I delivered it to them. I had to deal with an editor. The story is now out, but first let me talk about the process.

In publishing, editors serve a dual role. They both edit and act as gate keepers who keep the poor quality writing off the market. The editor who worked with me is great, and yet, at times, frustrating. She initially misunderstood the direction of the story, and started to edit out the theme. This is not so much a criticism of her, but self criticism. When writing, I should have communicated better. If my editor can not understand what I write, how can the reader?

All of her proposed changes were returned to me. In fact we kept sending the poor manuscript back and forth (electronically) before we had a document that we both were satisfied. My editor wanted to tighten up the language and at the same time expand some of the critical points of the story. That was good for me. A few sentences needed to be improved. When I first wrote the story, I was trying to comply with specifications that limited the length of the story. Under those circumstances, most authors find it necessary to leave details out. Some of those details have been restored to make the story richer. She also made a few suggestions that were incorporated either as she wrote them or with minor modifications by me. She also made some changes that she gracefully withdrew when I objected.

Eventually we had a story we both liked. Most important is that the final story is better than the draft I submitted. Then my editor e-mailed that Love Your Red Hair doesn’t make a good title.

I hope NSA is monitoring my e-mails, because if so, they were entertained by an exchange of proposed titles and counter-proposals. Perhaps they will buy the story to see just what form it has taken upon publication.

I have just been notified that Love Unrecognized is now available through as a Kindle. Take a look, and download it onto your Kindle or other devise with a Kindle ap. The whole concept of Weekend Reads is that they produce short stories that can be downloaded and enjoyed in a spare moment of your time.

Love Unrecognized is a romance about a cancer patient who is about to give up. Her niece tries to cheer her up by bringing an autographed copy of her favorite author’s latest book. This causes her to remember a man she commuted with on the train who wrote while on business trips. She always fancied herself as the model for the heroine of her favorite author’s first book. Could it be true? If so, she would like to be reunited with him.

Because the author has nothing better to do with his evening, he pays a visit to the hospital, but she does not look like his muse and he has too much hair to be her commuting companion. Nevertheless, the patient appreciates meeting her favorite author until. . . Her entire outlook on life is changed.

I don’t want to spoil the story for you. My intent in writing this post is to clue you in one the interplay between author and editor. That interplay can be frustrating, but with a cooperative writer in the hands of a good editor, all ends well.


About Reynold Conger

Reynold Conger is a retired scientist, engineer and teacher. Now writing fiction. His books are CHASED ACROSS AUSTRALIA, MY KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR and REDUCING MEDICAL COSTS (AT THE COST OF HEALTH). He has also started a series of novelas called THE RICHARD TRACY SERIES. Residence: New Mexico, USA Hobbies: gardening, animals and running. website
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