Bless Our Editors! By Hannah Alexander
August 7, 2012 5 Comments
Are some of the best editors in the business an endangered species? Please tell me it isn’t so. Pick up a book, any book, that hasn’t had the loving touch of a good editor on it, and you’ll see what a tragedy the publishing world could be in for. We lose perfection. We lose direction. We lose beauty and polish and charisma. No writer is an island, no matter how creative and insightful and stunning their words. I could not move forward without the guidance of my dear editing friends. What a wonderful symbiosis happens when a writer and an accomplished editor work together on a story. The writer feels freer to let go and allow her words to flow across the paper without her own editor on her shoulder–she knows her wise editor will catch the flaws and make her creation beautiful.
Now, I’m not saying that we writers need to get lazy and dump all our work onto an editor without rewriting and polishing and loving our characters, but there comes a time when we can no longer see clearly what our stories are about. That’s when we need fresh eyes. That’s why God made editors.
I spoke with a friend of mine who often edits my work, and i told her I was all messed up, writting the same scene over and over again without getting it right. I needed help. She told me to stop rewriting and move on. She would fix my mess. She did. And she pulled out those words and phrases that made my work shine. How does she do that? She edits. She knows how to cut away the unnecessary to showcase the beauty.
In this world of do-it-yourself publishing where an ebook can become a sudden, hot new hit, I see sadly that editors aren’t utilized as often as they should be. Spelling, grammar, a grasp of the best words are lacking. So many would-be writers fall short of the mark because, even though they may tell a good story, they tell it with a lack of finesse. Those who read the work, and, heaven forbid, like the work, learn that spelling isn’t as important as it once was. Grammar is a word becoming obsolete. Without the guidance of an editor, I can see the crisp style of good prose shattering and melting into mere words on a page, and often not even good words.
Please, if you write, whether it’s blog, editorial, letter to the editor or novel, swallow your pride and find a good editor. Try several different ones if you’re self-publishing. Ebooks are a particular concern, because the world is exploding with ebooks, anyone can write an ebook, it seems. Too many people are going to find that they won’t have a lot of sales unless they find a good editor first.
God bless our editors!