Wednesday, July 25, 2007

In Praise of Editors.

Going along with this Salon piece, I have a few words to add.

I am gratified by the editing I've received this week by several people. First up, my editor for these two articles I just turned in. I felt buoyed, not sunk; inspired, not chastised. I have a few rewrite issues to deal with but what a great experience! Kamiya, the author of the Salon piece, is right when he says,

"Good editors work with and not against a writer. They calibrate how aggressively they edit according to how good the writer is, how good the piece is, the type of piece it is, the kind of relationship they have with the writer, how tight the deadline is, and what mood they're in. But an editor's primary responsibility is not to the writer but to the reader. He or she must be ruthlessly dedicated to making the piece stronger. Since this is ultimately a subjective judgment, and quite a tricky one, a good editor needs to be as self-confident as a writer."

And the second set of editors is my critique group (I know, they don't think of themselves as editors, just as crit buddies, but they were so helpful; I'm not sure they really know how much) who took the first 2000 words of my fledgling novel and went through it line by line.

Seriously, I think heaven opened up and I saw the light. Not that I know exactly how to fix it, but I know that it's fixable and that's half the battle.

So, cheers to editors, crit groups, and to editors again.

It is the most fun to be edited when you are in fact an editor, I think. I've spent too many years editing everyone else without even knowing how good it feels and how cathartic it can be.

Try it! Send your work out there. It's so worth it!

Onward, forward!

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