Into every writer's life come edits. Revisions, copy-edits, and finally page proofs (sometimes known as galleys) have a way of showing up when we're at our busiest with other projects (day jobs and personal life included) but that doesn't make them any less important. On the contrary, we drop everything to take care of them because these are our last chances to straighten our literary's offspring's collar, brush the crumbs from his mouth, and send him out into the world to make a good impression.
As in the case of some over-eager parents, an author can get too controlling, too fixated on her vision for the book to listen to anybody else's well-meant guidance. And just as this hypothetical control freak parent can drive her child crazy (and eventually away with such behavior, so can the hyper-anal author drive her editors nuts (and eventually away) by donning full battle gear over every dash and colon or whether the publishing house's style guide dictates the use of "'til" or "till" in dialogue.
As you might need to remind yourself when your teenager comes home with blue hair, a lip piercing, or an oozing new tattoo, it's most important to keep in mind the big picture. Hair coloring grows out, piercings can be allowed to grow closed, tattoos have become more mainstream... And your reader is going to fall in love with your characters and their journeys rather than the choice of the word "effusive" rather than "fulsome" or your comma usage. (I've found copyeditors lean toward a cleaner looking page, sometimes removing my more formally correctly commas.)
By choosing your battles carefully, reserving them for those big-picture issues where the author really does know best, you avoid exhausting everyone and ensure that editors don't tune out your truly critical points - points that make the project stronger.
Important note: This balance isn't so hard to achieve when it concerns books. When you're dealing with teenagers, you all are on your own!
Take 5: Barbara O’Neal and THE ALL YOU CAN DREAM BUFFET - Our own Barbara O’Neal is with us today; she’s the author of over forty novels, and has won 7 RITA awards from Romance Writers of America and was admitted ...
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