I am not one of those people who dislike being edited. As long as the editor knows what she's doing (and yes, I am still shuddering from memories of enforced peer-editing sessions in high school and even university....ugh), it's an essential part of the process. Problems that have persisted for months can be prodded and untangled due to an editor's ability to get to the root of the problem. It's not that writers can't edit their own work (we spend at least half of our writing time doing this, if not more), but at a certain point, I feel like I've taken a text as far as I can, and nothing short of time (to acquire fresh eyes) or another person's point of view can help me.
It's actually a really joyous process to have someone clear-sightedly pinpoint the problems in your text and help you find a way to fix them. It is a privilege and a relief to have someone enter into that kind of relationship with what you've created. That being said, editing leaves you totally exposed, and it is really humbling to have all your mistakes pointed out. But humility is a good thing.
It's also really informative. It turns out I have some vocabulary quirks, most of which I hadn't noticed before:
I use for as a conjunction a lot.
I overuse the word clad. (But it's so succinct!)
I tread on the razor’s edge of
overuse when it comes to hearken, conjure, thrall, and foray. (Good thing I’m not writing about, I don't know... Victorian
magicians or something. Then I’d really be in trouble.)
It’s an interesting question
(er, to a writer): how many times do you think you can use the word foray in a
437-page novel? I had three but cut one
after my editor suggested it was a very noticeable sort of word. (Really? Okay.) Then again, I lost sleep over my own two thralls,
which I ended up leaving in. I think
part of me was so enamoured with those particular sentences (sometimes a bad sign) I worried everyone else would notice
--- but I don’t think they will.
What are your personal danger words, writers? Or words that make you raise an eyebrow when you see them in someone else's book? I know that I have a hate-on for most highly
specific medical terms unless they appear in a hospital context.