Monday, September 30, 2013

Final Countdown

If you don’t love your editor, you should.  Let me emphasize first by quoting Mark Twain’s advice to writers, “Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”  I’m more relaxed in my blog posts about such rules than I am with my formal writing, but I do try to adhere to this advice.
Try being the operative term.

Still, with those words of wisdom from Mr. Twain in mind, I make the following statement.

Editors have a very, very, damn, damn hard job.

They don’t just have to read the same manuscript eighteen or twenty times and try to make it better.  They also have to contend with the various egos whose primary operating procedure is, “Why make small drama, when you can create a nuclear holocaust?”  Then maintains that philosophy when dealing with even the smallest criticism.

Editors are not just put on this planet to make a book read better, more cohesively and help tell the story the author dreamed up.  They also, quite often, end up teaching writers how to write (thanks Shawn!).

I’ve wanted to work with a real, live, awesome editor for years now.  I knew that my writing had failings in it.  Unfortunately, like most authors, it’s a forest for the trees moment.  We can’t see the problems over our own awesomeness.  A writer’s awesomeness is wider, deeper and more volatile than the Antares Maelstrom.

When an author passes a manuscript to an editor, and I kid you not, there is only one acceptable outcome: the editor should call, weeping, almost unintelligible, to say how excellent the writing is, how there were only a few understandable typos, and how the story changed their previously unfulfilled life.

The should not just sing the author’s praises, but should cry out damnation that this book wasn’t published years ago.

You can imagine the dismay when that doesn’t happen.

Ever.

The editing process can be a long, hard road, fraught with the slings, arrows and footfalls filled with punji sticks laced with a cocktail of strychnine, curare, and acid.


So it’s a wonderful, magical, soul-healing moment to have your editor tell you that you’ve reached the point where you just have typos, spacing issues, and a few rewrites.  It’s even more wonderful when they say that your goal of releasing in the Fall/Winter this year is entirely possible.

I love my editor!

Tears of Heaven this Fall!

2 comments:

  1. Stop, Rob, or I'll get a big head, and that would look really funny.

    ReplyDelete