I always take something away from edits on my stories and sometimes it's not what I expected at all. Usually I kind of can tell when I have an issue with some part of the story or where I think I didn't give enough page time to certain parts of the action. When the editor tells me I need to beef up a section, I can pretty much predict that I was going to get pinged in that part. LOL
The things that make me shake my head and say, "Hmmm, I never thought of that" are things the reader/editor takes from their own life experiences. I have a couple of examples to share.
In a story I have that is no longer (yet) available since the publisher closed, the hero's name is Jackson Hughes. Having early on decided that the hero was going to be the brother of a hero in another story, I had his last name already in my head. As I was writing, though, I needed a first name for him. The heroine doesn't know his name for a while so I didn't start the story knowing what it was. When it came time for him to tell her his name, I glanced around my living room at the horde of teenage boys hanging out with my son and picked his pal, Jackson. It was a good name to go with Hughes so I nabbed it.
Imagine my shock when I got my edits back and the editor commented, "Is he supposed to be Hugh Jackman?" HUH?? I confess, I had to think about think about that for a minute before it sunk in. Nope, I totally DID NOT have Wolverine in my head when I wrote this story. I had to laugh when I wondered how many readers would hit on the same thing.
On another recent story- one that I am working on edits right now on- I gave the villain the last name of Bates. I did this because I had been dealing with a lawyer with that last name in my day job and he was driving me crazy calling me. When I got the comment from the editor, "Great reference to Bates Motel" - I laughed aloud. Again, I never even thought of that. I needed a last name and this one was at the forefront of my brain so I grabbed it. I DO hope readers make this connection because that would be awesome cool. What "badder" bad guy is there than Norman Bates in Psycho?
What about you? Anything you've seen as a reader that you wonder if the author had double meaning? Or you as an author didn't intend but readers/editors took away from your work?
OH, and since it's May 4th, May the Fourth be with you!