hey FFFers - it's been a while since I posted about the process. Lots going on. Sometimes, the process doesn't go smoothly, and that's happened to me. We all know we'll go through the editing process, right? I expect and even look forward to making my story better for the reader. Every editor has a personal preference on how they'd like the books they publish to read/look. Bigger houses have more than one editor, so you can change editors if things aren't working smoothly. Small houses usually have only one editor. So, if an author and editor in a small publishing house don't agree, hard decisions have to be made.
This has happened to me. I started the editing process, even though I didn't care for what the editor asked me to do; specifically, take out pretty much every dialog tag. And the tags I left in could not be "said." I like using said because it's invisible. It doesn't slow down the action. It's simple. I've taught at conferences and I teach my editing clients to use said, in most cases, especially when writing for children. But my editor didn't care for it, so I worked to eliminate as many dialog tags as possible. It was hard at first, but I got the hang of it, and I think I did a pretty good job. I tightened sentences, fixed the timeline, and changed a major plot line. That was the first round of edits.
For the second round of edits, my editor asked me to read a book about using Deep POV, so I could change the style of my writing to what she liked. Doing this would change my voice, so I declined. And I used the clause in the contract to terminate things. My editor said the changes she asked for were "industry standard." I'm not sure what that means, as I'm reading books in the industry (Christian publishing) and I see different approaches in different books.
This brings up the question of voice. We've talked about voice in the past, but it's been a while, so I think it's probably a good time to discuss it again. Some authors are willing to change their style (and their voice) according to what the editor wants. Nothing wrong with that. It's a personal decision. I've worked hard to find and develop my voice and I want to keep it. God gave it to me, after all. I remember telling our pastor several years ago that other people can teach Sunday school, sing in the choir, sit on the missions board, etc. but no one can write what God has called me to write. So, I'm pulling back and regrouping for the time being, and I'm starting to work with a mentor in January to see what I can do with the story and pray about what my options are.
So, what do you think about voice? How important is your voice? Are you willing to change your voice to be published? Let's talk!
Don't Plant Trees!
4 years ago