Sunday, February 15, 2009

Editors Are Not Magicians


Editors are not magicians; there’s no sleight of hand involved in the editing process. Nobody sees them working. They work long hours. It ain’t a nine-to-five thing. And they get insulted all the time. I do wish things would improve, but I know it won’t. Most of the typescripts I receive are not only badly written but lack content or substance; there’s not much in the way of depth or breadth or width in the writing. It’s rare that I receive one that I can sink my teeth into. I always jump with joy when a good manuscript lands on my table, something I can work with. But that’s rare.
Eric Forbes gives us a glimpse of what he has to face as an editor for MPH (see here and here), and now he gives us some more on his blog ... including the pushy parent of the J.K. Rowling wannabe, the authors who plan the food for their launch before they have written a word. Please do go read.

I really do not envy him his job ...

8 comments:

Chet said...

Eric must've been really riled up by his recent encounters with wanna-be published writers. Some of the words in that blog entry! So unlike our Mr Nice Editor image! More, Eric, more!

Yusuf Martin said...

A GOOD editor is worth their weight in gold.

Anonymous said...

Writers should LISTEN to a good editor.
- POPPADUMDUM

bibliobibuli said...

yes yes yes totally agree PPDD!!! eric can send me anyone who refuses to listen. (haha! the literary hit-squad!) i have seen some of the terrible writing he has to deal with - folks (often "celebrities" whatever that might mean) who cannot construct a decent sentence and yet feel they deserve to be published authors.

Anonymous said...

Poor Eric. My heart feels for him.

On the other hand, I had an editor who changed the tenses in every single page in my manuscript, made it all wrong and then was outraged that I was angry. Sigh. And it was a book of model English essays ... Thinking back, it was such a surreal experience.

saras

Drachen said...

Thanks, Sharon. I've gone through most of the blogged stuff on editing and publishing and learned a lot from you and Eric. (I will definitely polish up the manuscript before approaching publishers.) I am now embarking on my own little book project and hope to get it out in, maybe, 2 years? Wish me luck! :-)

Amir said...

If Eric is not a magician, how did the picture of him with Janet on this blog post transform into a solo picture of himself??

bibliobibuli said...

haha amir. janet did not like the picture according to a mutual friend so being the nice kind blogger i am, i changed it. (i hardly ever like photos people take of me, can't understand why they don't see the ravishing beauty i see.)