Do You Wanna Fight??

 By Charlotte Bennardo

Our theme this month, thank you, Mars, god of war, is constructive fights, or surprising confrontations with students. I haven't taught in a classroom in... uh, years. So I'll focus on constructive fights in publishing- between editors and authors (which is always a learning experience). 

Photo by Mikhail Nilov:

I have never heard of a manuscript being accepted as is; no changes or edits necessary, they love it! There are ALWAYS changes they want the author to make. Some of those changes (having been through the process), have you saying, sure, I can make them, no problem! 

But then... there are THOSE changes that just... kill you. They don't fit with your vision, or they change so much of the novel or you simply hate them. This is when you may have both a constructive fight and a surprising confrontation. As an author, you have to fight for the integrity of your novel (hey, it's YOUR STORY) but they are the ones putting money into publishing it, so they have a stake too. It should be a constructive 'fight' when you calmly discuss the proposed changes and your justification for not making some changes or modifying them. This may be where there is a surprise confrontation if the editor digs down, insisting on certain changes. At this point, the author has to decide which is more important; making the changes and ensuring the book gets published or declining the changes and taking a chance that the editor will pass on publishing the book. 

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Fighting and confrontation can be constructive if respectful and thoughtful. Don't be afraid of it, but embrace it. 

Charlotte writes MG, YA, NA, and adult novels in sci fi, fantasy, contemporary, and paranormal genres. She is the author of the award-winning middle grade Evolution Revolution trilogy, Simple Machines, Simple Plans, and Simple Lessons. She co-authored the YA novels Blonde OPS, Sirenz, and Sirenz Back in Fashion. She has two short stories in the Beware the Little White Rabbit (Alice through the Wormhole) and Scare Me to Sleep (Faces in the Wood) anthologies. Currently she is working on several novels for both children and adults, and her MFA. She lives in NJ with her family and her floofy cat. When they trimmed the backyard tree, the crazy squirrel couple had to move out.


  1. That is absolutely true about fighting being both constructive and respectful.


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