Friday, July 24, 2009
Editors, a learning process.
Chris McMahon hasn't been able to post today, due to illness, so I've filled in).
As a newbie published author I had never worked with an editor before. The first time an editor sent me a book report and asked me to do a rewrite, I was lost. The report was rather nebulous and I didn't know where to start so I called a friend and we talked it through.
She made some practical suggestions such as tightening the first chapter, not so much back story etc. And the editor was pleased with the rewrite. In that case it would have helped if the editor had read the report and said you need to do this, this and this. As a new writer I needed some guidance. Nowadays a slightly nebulous book report wouldn't worry me, I've learnt to read between the lines.
An editor should be like a good shrink, they should help you refine what you want to say and suggest ways to do this. At the Inside View of Publishing, Alan Rinzler talks about choosing a freelance editor.
Getting useful critique from your editor feels like 'Wow, why didn't I think about that?' Or 'Doh, why didn't I see that?'
What have you learnt through working with editors?