An Editor’s Edits

Recently I was notified that a short story I wrote won a contest and will be featured in an upcoming anthology along with some pretty big names in fantasy and sci fi. Let’s just take a moment to let that sink in.

I read the editor’s email to me a few times before getting out of my chair and doing a celebratory dance. I can’t tell you how awesome this news is to me! But once the dance was over and the shininess of the moment passed, I was left with work still to do on my end before this story gets the final stamp of approval.

The story, though solid and written well, was only edited by me so far, and it shows. Andrew, the editor of the anthology, took a proactive approach to my story and already revised and edited a large part of it before sending it back. And so began a process of editing that I’d not experienced before. Though my story was accepted and will be published, it must go through a lot of revisions before it is all set to go. Andrew, as any editor should, is looking to make my story the ABSOLUTE BEST that it can be, and I give him full liberty to do so. Some of the other authors in this anthology are BIG names, and Andrew expressed a desire to have all of the content as close to the same caliber as possible. I agree with that. So we edit my story so that when people get this book they don’t skip through the new authors to get to the big names, instead they take their time to discover that these new authors are just as inspiring and influential as the others. Though my story is awesome enough to win the contest and join their ranks, it still needs much polishing. Much.

But I’m okay with that. Like I mentioned, I was the only one who looked over this story before it was submitted and I welcome any feedback or critiques on it with open arms, especially if they are from a professional editor and the editor of the anthology itself. The version that I received back from Andrew was edited to ruthless effect and is a much more… mature story than the one I submitted. The structure of it is a little more solid, the characters a bit more direct and any frivolous details were cut. It now reads as a more professional story. Which is so freaking cool.

The notification I got from Andrew about the story was unofficial, and in the first email I didn’t even know I won until the very last sentence which ended with: “unofficially at least, congratulations!”, so my story’s placement in the anthology still seems a little tenuous to me. But once it’s official and the announcement is all over the fancy inter-web, I think I might just start dancing again.

Till next time, PEACE!

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