Wednesday, February 12, 2014
In Praise of Editors
I am a life-long learner. I quest for new learning opportunities, especially when it comes to writing.
Edits: to some a hellish five letter word, to me, yet another learning opportunity. Another way to improve my craft...but only if the editor is good and knows his/her shit.
Now, I'm not talking about the kind of edits that you might be thinking...grammar, punctuation, repeating words, etc. Don't get me wrong, that kind of stuff is important, every good editor should be able to catch those things. What I'm talking about are the things that we writers miss because we're too busy rolling out the words, making sure the plot arcs in just the right way, helping the hero connect with the heroine with enough angst and turmoil to make it worth it. I'm talking about when we writers get lazy and do things sloppy, take the short cuts. The editors who whip us back to our writing program (word, scrivener, whatever) and tell us to smarten up and FIX it, those are the editors who I learn from. Those are the ones you want to look at your stuff and riddle it with track changes and comments, paint your ms RED with corrections (or whatever color track changes is).
Trust me, I know. I've been lucky enough to have super-fantastic crit partners who are like this, and now I have a super-fantastic editor at Samhain who is like this too. Simultaneous actions? Whaaaaat? I'd never heard of it before...but now I see it everywhere. See? I learned something...that means my craft is going to improve. Win-win.
As writers we must continue to learn, to hone our craft, to practice. Editors, good editors, are the ones who have the whip in hand and make sure we do.