The Queen and I: Working with your Editor

According to Stephen King’s On Writing, “The editor is always right.” My editor never misses an opportunity to remind me about that quote. Therefore I’ve created a system for editing, revisions, et al that prevents arguments about the placement of a comma or about the start of a new paragraph.


Editing a Paper by Nic McPhee used under CC License

I #write out my first draft and look it over for something glaring like misspelled words. Then I save the document to a memory stick and pass it off to my wife, a.k.a the Editor and Queen (Grammar Nazi is too over-used).

She will read it over and type in notes and comments with Word’s highlight tool. For suggested omissions, she’ll change the text to blue and will use red when she wants a stronger verb. I think you’re getting the idea.

The memory stick comes back to me and I’ll make the revisions, and pass the opus back to her. The process will repeat a few times before we present it to a critique group. Of course, when she says “get over here and give me that stick,” it has caused some confusion and has ignited spontaneous romantic sessions.

After the critique, she’ll compile all of the notes and then I’ll revise again. Then the piece is sent off for beta reading and the story will take its final form. See how sa3gk459Sj03*49jkwregpioj (sorry, the cat walked across my keyboard) easy it is?

What’s interesting is that throughout the process, my wife and I don’t usually discuss the revisions face to face. It prevents the fur from flying and maintains shalom (peace) in my home. Now I just need a way to keep the cat away from my desk.

Tell me about your #writing / working environment.  Anyone else have a live-in editor?

17 thoughts on “The Queen and I: Working with your Editor

  1. A good piece Ernesto. I popped over from Bette’s blog. I had a terrible time with my editor on my third book. I had no trouble with her suggestions for grammar, syntax, punctuation etc. When it came to actually correcting my dialogue and terms used by police (here in Australia) and replacing them with American slang I became a tad upset. Ah, the pleasures of writing are many fold.


    • That’s always a sticky one Laurie. Realism or marketing appeal? There’s an Australian screen writer in my Saturday critique group, and we go through this issue at times. Like “Crown Land” being mentioned but never explained.
      Remember, the Beatles changed yes, yes, yes to yeah, yeah, yeah…and look at what it did for them. 🙂


      • yeah, yeah, 🙂 I go for the realism on this Ernesto, my stories are based here, in places people know so I have to use what’s right. I can’t be all Aussie and then use Americanisms, it wouldn’t gel. I tend to get around the odd word now and then. It’s a great thing this writing lark.


        • G’day mate! That’s an endearing expression, but it wouldn’t work in a John Wayne movie. I do prefer that you keep your writing honest and true. If it really bothers you, that is a sign that is prompting you not to change a thing.


          • I could see the Duke with a voice over saying that, or, ‘G’day Pilgrim.’ You have to be honest with yourself and the writing Ernesto. Your readers will soon notice the difference.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s