Jun 11, 2014

The Skinny on Accepting Change

by H. Linn Murphy

I'm in the middle of getting my book SUNRISE OVER SCIPIO published with Walnut Springs. It has been a long process--much longer than I thought it would take.

Right now we're going through the editing process. My editor sent in a list of things she wanted me to change. So being the trooper, I did. This resulted in the whole first third of my book being a mass of underlines and cross-outs. We haven't done the second and third parts.

My editor wanted me to accept her changes globally. I had no idea what that meant other than for me to go through every change she made and think to myself, "Yeah, that sounds feasible," or "That's absurd! I'm not changing that."

It turns out that's not what she meant. On the edit menu of my manuscript, there is a button that says 'Changes'. If you go into the drop down menu it has several buttons: record, protect records, show, accept/reject changes, comment, and merge document.

I read about how to do this on-line after she told me to go check out how to accept changes. So I blithely went in and did it. What happens when you accept changes, is that all the editing marks go bye-bye. What she'd told me was that I needed to keep a record of my changes. Well I didn't think I needed a record of my changes, since those marks were right there on the page for me to read. In fact I still have them there in front of me. But apparently they go away for her.

To me it's all arcane. So in the future, I'm going to keep a record of my changes. When it comes time to accept her changes, I'm going to try to do exactly what she says, even if they are garbled and not very understandable. I'm going to accept the changes on a COPY so if all the marks go flinging off into the ether, at least I'll have my own copy.

I'm writing this so new authors won't go through this hideous nightmare. As it stands right now, if I can't figure out how to get her to see these changes I see in front of me, I'm going to have to stop waving my wand and doing rain dances and go back and re-do the WHOLE THING all over again. Not pretty. In that event I shall have not a single hair left on my head and there will be holes in the walls next to me.

Heed my warning, my young friends. Copy before you click. Read the directions like they're the Book of Mormon. And pray.

I just asked her if she wants me to merge the documents. I should soon hear if she, too, has gone bald and is running around in tight little circles moaning to herself.


  1. Editing is hard. My background is mostly in the non fiction technical range, but as an editor, no I don't want your changes, my edits, I just want the final piece to publish. Altho in the ancient days when we used paper and pen LOL, each editor had a color (mine was green) and that way we knew right off who made those changes.

  2. Ouch. This sounds so painful. We use different color fonts when we edit articles for Gospel Ideals, but I usually ask for a clean final copy from the writer. Thank you for sharing this important information. Good luck! hugs~


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