March 24, 2012

From the Editor's Desk

“But let’s talk about the act of editing. Some editors do it and some editors don’t. Most modern editors believe that line-editing—going over sentences for consistency—is what editing is all about. That’s the easy job, folks. It’s harder to look at a piece of fiction and see what’s missing or whether the structure needs changing…

“And it’s even harder to tell a writer to start the book again—which most modern editors will not do.

“…Editing isn’t a dying art. It’s a rarely practiced art.”

-Kristine Kathryn Rusch

There are several things in this excerpt that I believe in deeply. One, line editing is not the sum total. It’s not even the starting place. Two, sometimes things need major overhaul in order to make the selling difference–whether direct to readers or via agency to traditional publishing–because that’s what readers need. And three, this is not a dying art.

Perhaps I’ve been blessed in my associations, because “old school” is how I’ve learned it and how I’ve seen it done–in-house, and by pro freelancers with more years than I.

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