4 Reasons Editors Rock


486px-Monet_boat_studio_1876-243x300 Author's Blog Writing Here I am, completely isolated in my boat studio, pouring over notes from my editor, and making changes—I wish! (Thank you Monet for the fantasy, however) It may as well be true because I’ve been completely absorbed in the task since Saturday and have lost all track time and day. I am posting my Monday morning post on Tuesday. At midnight.

Let me say up front that I love being able to say the words “my editor.” I’ve known for many years that a truly good book needs both a writer and an editor. The writer pulls the story out of her heart, her life, her mind, creating something new. The editor takes the raw material and makes it shine. She is a safety net and a savior, and I’m thrilled to work with one. Here are the reasons.

 

  1. They make me sound like I think I do.

A truly gifted editor knows the writers voice and lifts it up. She takes a poorly constructed sentence and shows the writer how to do it without ever interfering with the intent of the original. Its as if she’s saying, “This is what you meant to say, right?” The best of them can hand me back a page and I can’t tell it has been edited, until I go back to the original and gasp in shock. I think I’m brilliant. She makes me sound like it.

2. They remind me of the beauty of language.

Can I really use the word “walk” 60 times in one book? Of course I can, and yet there are so many other ways to march, saunter, swagger, wobble, limp, lurch, or stride through life. Roget has hundreds of stronger words. I still need someone to remind me to use them. I shudder to tell you about the richer ways to say “look” or how many times I failed to use those.

3. They push the story up a notch.

More emotion here, more conflict there—the editor can see the gaps far better than I can. I’m just too close to the characters. I know what they are feeling, but I occasionally forget to tell the reader. The editor is the reader’s advocate and the books are better for it.

4. They are patient.

At least most of them are, although I can be a sore trial. I make the same mistakes over and over. The editor patiently points them out so I can fix them. This occurs even though I own (and have read) several grammar books and even though I actually understand the rules when I read them. For this quality i am particularly grateful.

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