Monday, September 12, 2011

Editor Series Begins This Week!

As my guest editor series draws near, I thought it would be helpful to say a few words about what editors can do and what they mean to writers.

First and foremost, an editor is your first reader. Sure, they are gatekeepers and as such, they must bar the work that isn't up to par for their company. But gatekeepers also let the worthy in.

An editor is way more than a proofreader. He or she is tasked with making your work the very best it can be. And hey, who doesn't want their work to be its best when it rolls off the line?

An editor is someone who knows the publishing world (probably a lot better than you do) and she knows  where your work fits into that world. She's not your mother or your friend. If she says likes something it's because it's good, not because she doesn't want to hurt your feelings. And the opposite is true, too. She won't let you slide on something that just isn't right to avoid hurting your feelings.

An editor is a teacher. If you pay attention, editors can teach you a lot. I've learned something from every editor I've worked with and to date, that's more than a dozen of them. I still get an occasional grammar lesson  -  usually about some obscure rule or exception to one. But more importantly, they point out things like plot holes and characterization issues and big things that can make or break the story. Some editors even teach courses and write books chock full of awesome information for writers. Want to learn a whole lot about writing? Think about taking the Before You Hit Send workshop by Carina Press Executive Editor Angela James. There's one starting in a week!

More than anything, an editor is a purveyor of the written word. She can do for your work what the fairy godmother did for Cinderella's look. Yeah, she's that amazing. Stay tuned for editorial wisdom.

2 comments:

MaureenAMiller said...

I love my editor. She should run for president. :)

Wynter Daniels said...

Ha! You should tell her so!