Find out why you need an editor when you write – and why your editor is not your enemy.
Your Editor Is A Partner In The Creative Process – Not Your Enemy
Writing is something we do in isolation, but as soon as we send a story or novel in to an editor or agent, the process becomes collaborative. I didn’t always realise this with my first few published stories.
Some editors can be very prescriptive. I remember I wrote a short story, The Pact, about a suicide pact. I didn’t want to explain the reason for the double-suicide in my story, but my editor insisted I write a backstory for the characters – and to this day, I don’t like how the story turned out.
Other editors are far more reverent of an author’s work and won’t change a word without your permission – they’ll only make suggestions. For another non-fiction piece I wrote for a US anthology, the editor pointed out some clumsy sentences and clichés. I was glad he caught them – rewriting them made the piece better. He also suggested a great title for the piece, and to this day it’s still one of my favourite titles – ‘Oblivion And Maybe Some Dancing’.
You don’t always have to take the advice of an editor, but you should listen to what they say – they can help you make your story more powerful. They can help you become a stronger writer.
I always say – take what works and leave the rest.
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