Recently I’ve been working with a few brilliant emerging writers, and learning more about the wonderful skill that is editing. The most interesting thing I’ve observed is the way writers take on board suggestions – myself included. I’ve narrowed suggestion-reception down to three types (please note, the following are somewhat generalised):
1. The contemplative writer, who collaborates with your ideas and turns the editorial process into a dialogue.
2. The sycophant writer, who takes on board all editorial suggestions and massacres their own work for the sake of kowtowing. (This type is generally very excited, and extremely well-meaning.)
3. The <em>vive le resistance</em> writer, whose editorial process involves informing the editor that they worked hard at this piece, barricading the provided feedback and reprising ‘<em>Do You Hear The People Sing</em>’.
Whilst I have no problem with a writer rejecting suggestions, Type 1 writers tend to make alternative suggestions from which the editor can work, and Type 3 writers tend to stick to their guns, and stick it to the editor. So I wonder how you view the editorial process. As a writer or editor, what is your approach to, and understanding of, the difficult art of killing your (or someone else’s) babies?