Thursday, July 17, 2008

About Your Pesky Editor

Okay folks...what do you say when your editor takes a look at the revisions on your beloved MS, and then slices it, dices it, has it for brunch, and then spits it out?

Ahh...Bon Appetite, of course.

And how would you know since nothing remotely like this has ever happened to you, right?
Come on now, we all know how it works, and how it hurts, oh soooo bad. But listen, if editors could write, they would be writing and making tons of money. They do what they do best: they edit and critique.

They look at your so-called masterpiece, the one that you've slaved over for the past year and butcher it to pieces. And of course, they always make a good point. Or two, or three. You get the idea. Editors can see what we cannot, and they know what we don't know. We're usually focused on telling a story, and getting our characters to do what they do. And so, we get lost in a rhythm, (just talking myself down from the last revision folks) and in all the telling, and all the narrative and all that fantastic dialog.

Meanwhile, editors think like...editors. They watch out for all the passive sentence construction, the embarrassing typos, the split infinitive's, the run on sentences, the dangling and the wangling, and the structure of it all. And who knows what else? Well, I know of a lot more but I don't have all day to list it here.

But here's the point: Yes, editors can be ruthless at times, and honest and very transparent and they basically pull no punches. And that's the way it should be. Who wants an editor that doesn't help make your story better? An editor that helps make your work shine will labor hard and doesn't tell you what you want to hear. They make corrections, offer suggestions and point out all the inaccuracies that one tries to get away with. (It is fiction, after all. Right.)

Heck, just look at the professional reviews for so many published books out there, already on the bookshelves. They often don't fare much better, even after publication.

There are no perfect books, or perfect stories of any kind, as we all know, however, the goal is to come as close to perfection as one can get. And that goal, simply cannot be done without another pair of eyes that can catch all the mistakes that keep one from publication. (If an agent can smell money in your MS, you're in. They could care less about inaccuracies.)

That's where our trusty editor comes in. They know what agents are looking for and they steer you in the right direction. And I for one am very grateful to have one of the best editors I could ever ask for.

Here's where you can find more of them. Click on the Headline hyper-link for the website where you can post your editing job for hire.

Good luck!