Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Let's Talk about Editors (Part 11 of 12)

Let's try this from the other end. Editors make certain assumptions about the people they edit. And they'll tell you that some authors make their lives extremely difficult.

A then-famous singer spent five hours on the telephone yelling at her editor, telling her what a terrible job she had done and went through every page. I don't know the outcome except it was the only book the singer sold to that publisher.

* Editors assume writers are always learning—and never stop learning.

* Editors assume that writers look at the comments nondefensively, even if they disagree. Here's a sentence I tell new authors to memorize and repeat regularly: "I am a professional and I respond professionally."

* Editors assume you know they are criticizing a product and not the writer. You're not being criticized personally. The focus is on your work—a product separate from yourself.

* Editors assume you realize that every author is edited.

* Editors assume that the best writers welcome them as guides and helpers to bring in a different-and-improved perspective.

* Editors assume writers will grow through the editing experience. As you look at the editing, you can probably figure out why he cut or changed something.

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