One question I occasionally get asked: “If you and your editor disagree about something, what happens?” Well, here’s a play-by-play of one such disagreement for your edification and (hopefully) amusement.
I’m a fanatic about words. I always strive to find the perfect word, the one that communicates the exact sense of a scene or feeling. My editor at Tanglewood Press, Peggy Tierney, is a fanatic about voice. She’s always trying to keep the prose in my books in the protagonist’s voice, Alex’s voice. In that sense we complement each other, but it also leads to an occasional argument.
I turned in my third rewrite of Chapter 48 of SUNRISE yesterday–well, the third rewrite since the manuscript went to Tanglewood. I have no idea how many times I rewrote it before I sent it in. Anyway, I got this note back from Peggy today (you may have to click on each email snippet to see the whole thing):
Then, after two minutes of deep contemplation, I realized I was wrong and sent this:
Forty-five minutes later, I get a reply:
Obviously she hasn’t read my second email–here’s what she sends one minute later when she gets to it:
And my reply:
So there you have it–a tell-all expose of a knock-down, drag-out word nerd argument!