Here’s something that a lot of creators don’t know: editors are your friends. The sooner this is understood, the better off everyone will be.
Editors aren’t here to make your story into their own. That isn’t the job. The editor’s job is a tricky one. One the one hand, they have to work for the creator in helping them tell the story the creator is trying to tell. This can be a struggle, especially if the creator has a vision of what they want their book to be. On the other hand, the editor also has to look out for the audience. Most of the time, they are the only ones doing so. What this means to the creator is that the story they’re trying to tell may not have wide appeal, and things may have to change because of it. Creators don’t want to hear that. What they’re hearing is that the editor wants to interfere with their vision. Like I said, it’s a fine line to walk.
There are some creators out there who just aren’t ready to create just as yet. Not an entire issue. They may have an idea, and then they try to spread that idea over an entire issue, but then it’s like trying to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and not having enough peanut butter. It’s spread too thin, and as such, it ultimately unsatisfying. The editor’s job in a case like this, would be to help find more story in order to fill the pages, and to cut the flab that doesn’t do anything.
As an editor, I hate running into this type of story because the creator often doesn’t have any other ideas to help increase the satisfaction level of the story. Questions then have to be asked that will help the creator to think about what they’re doing, about why the characters are doing what they do, and hopefully gain some story that way.
Editorially, it will always be easier to take an overstuffed issue (by that, I mean a story that has too many things going on in it) and trim elements, rather than have a story where nothing really happens and you have space to fill.
But this is what your friendly neighborhood editor can do for you. They can help you trim the fat, or help you fill the issue. That’s their job. They’re here to help you.
Help them to help you.