Today's question, posed by affiliate author, Amy Romine, is: What do you do with your edits?
That's a very good question. Currently, I have a wonderful editor whose suggestion enhance the story. Sometimes she asks me to delete whole paragraphs. Yikes. While it kills me to do so, I read the paragraph and if I agree - I usually do - I delete it. If there's information in that paragraph that I feel the reader needs to know, I add a comment about why I want to keep it. Sometimes we shorten the paragraph or change the wording to get my point across. Other times, she leaves it.
I've been the product of some horrible editors in the past. One actually added the dreaded "LY"word to all of my saids. Or changed complete sentences, adding the word. I think every (or at least most) authors know to avoid these words as much as possible. Granted, they do have their place. They are part of our language after all. But we all know to use them sparingly. This editor added them to sentences like - She raced (hurriedly) down the hall. Not only is the sentence awkward - everyone knows if you race you're in a hurry. Adding an ly word there only repeats the action.
Needless to say, I balked and balked. And the editor talked to the publisher and the publisher said if I remained uncooperative, they were breaking my contract. I wrote back and said I refuse to cooperate with that kind of editing. So contract broken, I moved on. I wouldn't have my work changed that way - For one thing, she was changing my author's voice. I don't write that way. She was also changing the tone of the story - to her voice. Not to mention, she wasn't making it better.
I think most editors are pretty good. Another one I dealt with was very understanding of things I wanted to leave. Don't get me wrong. If the suggestion is reasonable, I'm more than willing to make a change. Another line editor I dealt with insisted on changing a lot of my manuscript to her voice. Not to mention she inserted the word "However" during a love scene. I don't know about you, but however isn't part of my vocabulary in everyday language let alone during a love scene. She also eliminated scenes that I felt were important to my heroine. Albeit - they could have been shortened. So once again, she went to the owner and the owner said it wouldn't be published. Since most of the edits were reasonable, I came up with a compromise to the paragraphs - I shortened them as long as she removed the word However. There were several other comments throughout the manuscript also. I suggested compromises for them also - Truthfully, I think this was the job of the editor, not the author. Editors aren't there to suggest changes and then be stubborn about them. They're supposed to suggest changes, but if the author has a viable reason to leave them, I think they either work out a compromise or leave them.
I was taught when it comes to edits - it's your work - the final decision is up to you. No one has the right to change your voice or style of writing.