Leah asked Anna Sheehan:

Do you ever get frustrated with editing a book? say, if you've written something, and then, in editing, you suddenly come across a plot hole big enough to swim in, what do you do?

Anna Sheehan Those plot holes are easy to fix, actually -- you go back, insert, polish, add some foreshadowing, and usually 'tisn't that difficult to repair... at least for me. I actually tend to have a more polished first draft than most authors, I'm not sure why. Maybe I'm editing in my head, I don't know. Once I got halfway through a book on a ship, got through to the climax, and realized I'd clean FORGOTTEN to put a key character -- who was about to die heroically -- onto the ship in the first place. I'd put him in the first chapter, but forgot to get him on the ship. That was the worst time I ever had rewriting in a hole. Fortunately, he was in the synopses, so I just had to find the places he was supposed to be in, and occasionally have him chirp in a line of dialogue here and there.

The worst editing job I had was on No Life But This, where my editor wanted the book to go in a direction the book didn't want to go into. I tried and tried, but the book died every time I did. It wasn't until I switched editors -- a painful and unpleasant experience, let me tell you -- that I was able to make the book come together again. Which isn't to say that you shouldn't edit your books, or if you think you can make a change you should fight your editor anyway. I always say if you can make the book better, try, and editors usually know what they're about.

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more