An Editor Once Told Me A Piece Of My Mind
I formed a resolution to never write a word I did not want to write; to think only of my own tastes and ideals, without a thought of those of editors or publishers. - C. S. Forester
Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers. -T. S. Eliot
That's why editors and publishers will never be obsolete: a reader wants someone with taste and authority to point them in the direction of the good stuff, and to keep the awful stuff away from their door. - Walter Jon Williams
An editor once told me the best advice I ever heard on editors. He said to me, Bennet, Don't get comfortable with your own words after you’ve wrote them.”
I know I heard these statements from many other writers and authors. 'The evil editor rewrote my great words…or he (or she) destroyed my great plot'.
I do understand, but as much as you love reading your words, UNEDITED, an editor will correct you. Trust me, most of the time, it will make the work better.
A few times, a number of writers have confided in me. They assume that the edit has destroyed what they have written. That isn't the case. They are allowed their opinion. A publisher mostly follows the editors lead in regards in what the editor thinks about your work.
Some authors, I have heard, see their editor as “The purveyor of the Red pencil” who is out to get them. As cute as it sounds, in their minds, this is true!
Now, this begs the question, have I even I been edited? I have been edited by some of the best in the business. Including these talented editors: Jessica Swift, Ellen Tietjen, Jeanne S. Evans, Wrenn Simms and Jimmy DeClaire. Have I felt the same way as many other authors when it comes to having their works edited? I will be honest, after reading some of their corrections. Yes I have!
I want to relay a story so you understand. Jimmy DeClaire, my friend and beloved editor, passed away a few years ago of a heart attack. He is missed…by me a lot! I tell this story in writer's workshops about Jimmy's editing a piece I wrote. I wrote these words in the piece 'The Vulture SWOOPED down and picked up his prey'. He corrected this statement with this sentence 'The Vulture DIVED down and picked up his prey'. Jimmy always said, “If you have any questions, call me and we can discuss it”. We spent 90 minutes discussing if the vulture SWOOPS or DIVES. I am laughing about it now as I write these words, it was funny then. I finally agreed it should be DIVED. I still think it SWOOPED!
A few weeks ago, I had author Lindsay Downs as a guest on my ANYTHING GOES radio show on Blog Talk Radio. We were talking about his editor Rhonda Lee Carver. He said “She is so demanding. The book the Guilty Countess (I wrote the forward to the book) took seven edits”. He continues “She knows it (the book) from the reader's perspective and she made it better”.
You heard the both sides of editors. There are good editors and bad editors. It's up for to decide.
Reach for the Stars
Columnist: Bennet Pomerantz has covered the Audio medium for the last 20 years. He has syndicated newspaper columns, AUDIOWORLD and "Movies of Your Mind", in Affaire De Coeur Magazine. In which he showcase his vast and diverse knowledge of the spoken word medium.
He is also known as a media review critic (books, music, graphic novels, DVDs, CDs) in his weekly syndicated newspaper column "A Piece of the Page". He also is a ranked media reviewer for Amazon.com. http://www.facebook.com/bennet.pomerantz1 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org