Editing Corner: Why You Should Take Your Editor’s Advice

Writing Corner on Mustard Seed Sentinel
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Why You Should Take Your Editor’s Advice

How editors help you deliver on your titles

by Joanne Troppello

I’ve been a freelance copywriter and fiction author for 20 years and I’ve had various editors throughout my writing career. As a young author, I didn’t truly understand the value of an editor and how they can help you put forward your best work.

As I’ve grown and developed as a writer, I’ve finally seen how vital editors have been throughout my journey. My first major growth period happened when I was working on edits for my novel, Mr. Shipley’s Governess. I was new to the novel writing world and thought I knew what I was doing.

I was so wrong.

My editor changed my life by helping me transform my 3rd draft into something I could be proud of as she helped me with issues like head hopping. I didn’t realize how much better my romance novel would turn out to be when I got point of view (POV) right and effectively developed the hero and heroine.

I’ve had many turning points throughout my writing career. Another important one came when I started writing on Medium. You can read more about the lessons I’ve learned during my 6 weeks writing on Medium: here.

However, when I recently submitted a draft to P.S. I Love You on Medium, editor Dan Moore liked my piece but thought it was too busy and not streamlined enough.

So, I made cuts and edited text.

The next day, I received a second editorial note stating that something was still missing. He asked me to flesh out my article more so that I effectively responded to my title. His last statement truly resonated with me.

“We need to deliver on the title.”

If you’ve been struggling with suggestions from editors in your writing projects, keep reading to learn more reasons why writers should listen to their editor’s advice and how those editors can help us deliver on our titles.

Delivering on titles is a key component in cultivating reader engagement and trust.

Help you see things in a new light

Sometimes you think you’ve written the best article and it’s ready to be published. However, there are times when you need extra help to polish the content to improve its readability and augment reader engagement.

An editor can objectively help you see issues that you weren’t able to see.

Maybe your content was straying from the topic or you didn’t add enough examples to prove your point. If you want to put your best work forward, pay attention to suggestions from editors.

Bring refinement to your content

The right editor can review your articles and help you streamline what you want to say and make sure its highly refined. Today’s readers have a short attention span. They won’t read your entire article if you are rambling—that can easily bore them, and they will likely move on to something else.

When your content has a strong focus, that will help your readers to stay focused on reading your article through to the end. An editor can show you where you need to cut text or expand the content.

You have a choice

You don’t have to listen to what your editor says. Depending on where you’re trying to get published, that could mean that your article is rejected.

Sure, you can ignore those suggestions and submit it to a smaller publication. Maybe they’ll publish your article. However, think about the end result—especially if you want to put your best work out there.

When your editor makes suggestions, consider reacting the following way:

  • Step Away – Don’t work on the edits right away. You may not like what your editor suggested. Stepping away will give you time to process the advice.

  • Refine – Accept the fact that the editor only wants to help you refine your work and you shouldn’t take these suggestions personally.

  • Discuss – If you feel strongly about your work, discuss the suggestions with your editor but make sure you maintain your composure and are respectful.

  • Prepare – We’re all human and fallible—even your editor. Be prepared to make the necessary rewrites, but don’t revel in an editor’s mistake.

I encourage you to take your editor’s advice. They can definitely help you deliver on your titles and improve the way readers receive your work and engage with your content.


About the Author

Joanne Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.

Connect with Joanne on Twitter and join in cultivating positivity in your life and sharing it with others by subscribing to the Sunflower Quest Community.

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