Monday, February 28, 2011

Editing Doldrums

Been working on some editing projects the past few weeks and finally beginning to see daylight. Some common problems for folks wanting an edit seem to center around, "Do whatever you need to. I want this to be the best it can be."

Would that were so. One thing I've learned over the years is that you can't edit for your friends or family. Maybe it's part of the "no prophet is revered in her home town" syndrone or whatever, but folks you know often take offense when the red pencil is applied to their work.

The real scenario is - What I meant was, read this and tell me how great it is. I didn't expect you to tell me there was anything that could be improved upon. It's a great piece of writing. If you can't see that, well....

So, being the quick study I am, I learned to work with writers I don't have an emotional attachment with. It's easier on the blood pressure for sure. In that regard, I've found some real gems among those submitted for my critiquing. Check out Linda Stroh's Trust Rules or Ashley L. Knight's Fins, for starters. I think you'll like what you see.


  1. Oh editing how I loath thee but until I become a perfect writer, my only choice is to polish polish polish!

  2. Karen, you are completely right. The writer wants "everyone" to tell him/her that she is the best writer they know and that their work is fabulous. I edit everything AFTER an editor has had a go at a manuscript and boy, are some of them really defensive.

    I come to the table with my editing tools at the ready. I was a journalist and then a newspaper editor and then a six-time author and now a publisher. I don't ever want to make changes in someone's manuscript that are unnecessary. As Hannah wrote about "perfect writers" they don't exist and even after editorS(plural) have gone over a manuscript, there will still be "lost edits" in the published book. I don't know if these little critters hide behind the page numbers or crawl in the book after it's printed but I found a couple of errors in my 2009 published book just the other day! AND, it went through many, many editors.