Saturday, September 7, 2013

Editors, The Unsung Heroes!

You work through the depths of your imagination and discover the perfect tale hidden deep between your thoughts of love lost, and the time you forgot to wear pants to school.  Over the next few days, weeks, even months, you write until your hand stiffens with cramps.  After a few edits of your own, you check it over one more time before sending it off to the publisher for approval.

Then it hits you...the publisher accepts the story, and the editor gets to work on ripping your masterpiece to shreds.  You receive the suggested revisions back and gasp.  How could he or she be so evil and rude to dismantle all of your hard work?

Okay, let's face it.  Many writers go through the emotions above when accepted into an anthology, magazine, or as a new novelist.  However, despite being hit in the head with reality, your story needed some work.  As a writer, it is very easy to overlook our mistakes and the fluff that adds words to the page. 

We have to remember that the editor is there to help us.  He or she might come off as rude or blunt, and that is okay.  In fact, I would rather be told of my errors flat out, rather than receive a sugar coated revision that does my story no justice.  An editor's job is basically to give us writers some bad news.  They don't have the glory (usually) of presenting us with the golden contract and promise of publication.  They give us the harsh reality of what we need to accomplish to achieve publication.

Sure, there are some editors out there that give the others a bad name.  They might charge a writer to edit the work that they want to publish, essentially taking away from any promised royalties (assuming  there are royalties).  Some will charge to edit work with promises of publication after being paid, but have no real contacts with publishers.  Those are the editors that deserve the chastising that we so often give the legitimate editors that want to help us out.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to work with two very amazing editors.  I should be working with a third very soon.  My experience with them has been nothing but positive, resulting in submissions that were much more solid than I could ever have imagined.  So, I want to take this opportunity to thank both of those editors (you know who you are), and praise their work that so often gets tossed avoided like cooties. 

Remember, an editor is there to help you out, not hold you back!

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