65 Comments

Yes, we did.

Margaret is an exemplary combat medic. And I’m living proof that writers aren’t the only ones who bleed during The Editorial Process!

BTW, I do my own stunts at strongfinish.net. If you have a manuscript or questions, I’d be happy to take a look and talk to you about next steps.

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I love this so much.

Great timing as I have returned to writing.

I also fell victim to someone who offered to edit a piece. A friend with experience!

She is no longer a friend. Downgraded now, to an acquaintance. You get to manage those!

She edited out of my beautiful “Irishisims” My piece and I nearly died a writers death.

Rule no.1. Never do business with family and friends!

I took the financial hit. I didn’t argue and lost my will to write. My confidence flew out the window.

So I took to dissecting Mars bars and eating them with a knife and fork, with a side of cheese n’ onion Tayto chips.

That only serve to add to my waistline, gave me wicked breath. I remembered the last time I had eaten so much Tayto was in The Coombe Hospital, Dublin, giving birth to twins.

Thankfully I returned to writing and the joy of better friendships. Your pieces always inspire me.

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this is the best argument I’ve heard for self-publishing yet...if you’re not broke...

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Heather is a treasure, and so are you. Thank you.

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I'm at the proof stage of my first novel 'The Genius Killer' I used a brilliant Irish company to help me get the book in shape. I had two 'readers reports' from published authors - in reality this was editing. In the long run extremely helpful but my second editor absolutely devastated me with some of the feedback. If my serial killer hadn't been fictional I would have pointed him in this person's direction for one final, tumultuous hit! However, once I'd absorbed the pain and shock, I rewrote my novel (for the fourth time) and now, hopefully, it's a rollicking old read with no plot holes, the right timeline and a pacy narrative. Without the editorial finger nail extraction I would never have got my product to market. Margaret is a legend and this piece was so real to me - and made me laugh 😂

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Love this! As a once-upon-a-time-editor, I asked an author to change a main character from male to female, and then, after he had done so, to change the now-female back to male. It's a wonder I'm still alive.

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Thank you so much for writing this. I love the cartoon too. I'm grateful for my editor(s), though I don't always agree, it's good to have those conversations. I could only wish for a side-by-side experience such as you have with Heather. What a treat!

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At age 60, I self-published A Singer's Playbook- For Late Bloomers and OK Boomers. I did so without benefit of an editor, as the cost was prohibitive. Happily, I wrote it for adults new to the practice of singing, most of whom enrol in my coaching program, so stakes are low, questions are welcomed and reviews are usually delivered in person, cordially :) Being an independent musician and now a self-published author, I can't be certain of the quality of my work but I can say I didn't let gatekeepers stop me from creating recordings and a book that I believe to be something beautiful for the world. I can only hope my obscure offerings find their way to appreciative ears and eyes. No regrets!

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I've been trying to be all these editorial people myself. A few kind (and brave) souls have been helping me to overcome what I we've come to know as fridge blindness... It's that thing where you open the fridge to take out the tomatoes, or the left over rice. They are nowhere to be found. And yet... when the other person opens the fridge door they prompty launch themselves into the waiting arms...

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I agreed once as a favour to edit fiction. Slogged away for days, untangling the first few chapters of the tale. Received the updated and extended draft a few weeks later, to see most of my effort reverted to its original entanglement. It felt like being hit by a truck (though I have no doubt Heather would disagree). That was enough for me.

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Heather is a beast and this is exactly what I needed to tackle my monster

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This is exactly what I needed to read at the exact moment I needed to read it. Thank you.

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I recently saw the film Turn Every Page, which details the 50+ year ongoing relationship between author Robert Caro (Power Broker) and Robert Gottlieb, former editor-in-chief at Knopf. Today’s essay took me to the descriptions by others at Knopf of the testy arguments the author and editor would have about every addition, deletion, or modification of every line, paragraph, chapter, and punctuation of a book.

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Am I also to believe that (per the comic) The Testaments was originally called The Testicles before editing? What a different book that would have been.

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Ironically, when I went to share this with my husband, spellcheck grabbed the word "likeable" in the post: spellcheck did not like "likeable!" I looked it up and with the "e" it is British usage, without the "e," it is American usage. Didn't know that!

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This piece is brilliant and hilarious, all the more because it is so true! I'm glad I'm only seeing it now!!

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