I've been an editor for a long time and I'll be the first to tell you it can be a bit tough on everyone. But having someone edit my work is a joy to me. This week I'm starting the first round of my own edits on a sequel, re-working a finished book for re-release, tinkering with a manuscript that's done, done, done... and responding to edits on a short story I've written for an anthology. Yeah... pretty heavy editing week.
In some ways editing is a restful break from the pressure of creative writing. Whereas the creative mind needs that energy to make intuitive leaps, spark new directions, make marks on a trackless plain, editing requires a calm centre and deep focus.
My process always requires a first read before I edit. Not always an easy ask if you're on a timetable, but I try. Early this year I finished editing a 120,000 word science fiction manuscript which I'd seen at various stages over two years. Okay, it was a labour of love, but even so, the single most important tenet still held, did I connect with the author? As an editor I have to be constantly conscious of the author's voice. I must not change or alter the flavour or tone of that voice. Although there was major structural editing required in the science fiction manuscript, my job stopped where I saw the edge of the plot hole. It was up to the author to figure out how to bridge that gap. That's not to say we didn't have some interesting discussions about direction and what was working and what wasn't. The joys of being on the same wavelength.
So when choosing an editor for myself, that's the first thing I look for... are we a good 'fit'? I have high hopes for my short story. If the fit is good, then you don't despair when you see the field of yellow highlighting (or red pen, or margins of comment boxes), it means growth and opportunity. Embrace the change(s).
PS The 'funs' in title is a joke and 'fun'.
PPS I write Australian English hence 'flavour' and 'centre'.
Image by Stocksnap on Pixabay
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Tea-drinker, writer and editor. Ecologist, environmental scientist, futurist and student of irony.