...the fight is on sports fans. They're moving around the ring...it's a left and a right and a rapid combination... An uppercut to the jaw and... Down Goes Fraizer! Down Goes Fraizer!
With apologies to Howard Cosell -- who I met once as a kid, along with a guy who knew how to build atomic bombs - that's another story -- this type of knock down drag out fight is exactly what I pictured going on in during the editing process. Imagine my surprise when it didn't turn out anything like this for me.
During the editing process of my first book my editor suggested one character wasn't needed - and by George he wasn't. Then she suggested a complete cut of three solid pages - and I suddenly realized, after having re-written that section a hundred times and never being satisfied with it, that the reason I could never make it right was because it wasn't needed at all.
And then when I disagreed with her regarding some of the scientific explanation in the book, we talked and she said, "OK, I see where you're coming from and why the audience would need that."
Truth be told - I felt as if I'd been jipped. Where's the bench clearing brawl? WHere are the ultimatums? What the hell kind of editing process is this anyway?
Does your Editor do this?
I guess mine don't. Perhaps, I've been lucky. So far we've been able to communicate without the need of any Dr. Phil like counseling.
"So you don't want to use proper punctuation, Graham... How's that working out for you?"
"It's working great Phil... and now that I'm on Twitter I don't even have to use English or even real words - so there!"
Um... where was I? Oh yeah - I like my editors. They like me. We can communicate. But what happens when we reach that inevitable moment where we don't see eye to eye? How do I know what to fight for?
I don't know the answer to that. Only that, if it seems important to me, and important to the book and the readers as CJ mentioned the other day, then I have to fight whether I want to or not. So I guess that's my answer - I fight when I feel like I have to. (Pretty lame huh?)
Sorry. Sometimes there are no bright line rules and you just have to muddle your way through.
Keep on Muddling! (I think I'm going to put that on a T-shirt.)
Author of Black Rain