Beyond the Sandwich Method: What I Learned About Critiquing From My Editors

A while ago, before Midnight Thief went out on submission, I had tea with a veteran writer friend. Amongst discussion of all things publishing, the topic turned to editing. My friend mentioned that early on in his career, he wouldn't have been able to judge good editorial advice. It was only after writing several books and growing in his craft that he had the experience to do so.

I distinctly remember wondering what he meant by good editing and whether it really was that hard to identify. After all, I’d put my novel through several rounds with beta readers and felt like I had a good instinct for sorting through feedback.

Fast forward ten months later, when I got my first editorial letter from Abby Ranger. That was when I realized that I’d had NO idea what a good editor was capable of. The difference between the manuscript I submitted and my story now is the difference between a pencil sketch and a full-fledged oil painting.

And not only have I improved my book, I've also gleaned tips on how to be a better critique partner. Here are some of the things I've learned, both from my first editor Abby and my current editor Rotem.