On editors

The frequency with which I mutter things like ‘the editor should have caught that’ is increasing. From reading only for pleasure, it seems I can no longer ignore what should have been fixed before that book made it out into the world. And I rarely blame the author, now that I’ve discovered editors.

But they are only human. And sometimes young, and new to the job. Someone needs to show them the ropes. These days it appears as if rope-showing is increasingly rare in the workplace. Thank god for Anne Rooney. I’d happily have her show me any kind of rope she can think of.

This week I’ve been in full admiration mode for Anne’s blog post on what a good editor should know, and it has far less to do with catching spelling errors than treating writers like Anne so well that they will want to write another book for them. It seems writers are also human beings, and their weekends are of a similar length to those of the editor’s.

Do click through and read this. Even if you have no need for this type of advice, it is a masterpiece of writing; a kind of rope-showing that no one could possibly argue with.

It’s a shame that the piece had to be written at all, but a blessing that it’s Anne who did it, and not some vindictive shrew. Like me.

4 responses to “On editors

  1. Great post…unfortunately I couldn’t link to anything😦

  2. Fascinating – and scary!

  3. Yes. Soon the world will be full of people who know nothing.

  4. Loved your post. At the present time I’m judging some books for literary contests and the unvarnished truth of your statements stands out in neon. Some of the published work could have been so much better with some vibrant editing. There seems to be an emphasis on formula – not the finished product. To many folks that have the title don’t understand its value. They need to read some info on Max Perkins and his contributions to authors like Marjorie K Rawlings. Oh, I’d like your take on the new crop of agents.

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