Sunday, March 30, 2008

On Editors

From Meg Cabot's blog:
I get a lot of letters from aspiring authors asking if you HAVE to do what your editor tells you, and the answer is, yes, if you have a good editor, you pretty much do. Not only that, but if you have a good editor, you should WANT to.
These words mean a lot to me. When I first started seriously writing, I thought that since I wrote it, it was good enough. I thought that editors fixed grammar, that was all. I thought that the hardest part was just writing something long enough.

Then I wrote something long enough, and realized for it to be any good, I'd have to cut it down by half (or more)...and even then, it would take a shot of gin and a miracle to make it salable.

When I submitted my work for contests or critiques, I thought everyone who didn't instantly love it was jealous.

Ah, naivety.

I have actually learned since then. I've realized that if the reader doesn't "get it," it's my fault. That I don't have to take all advice, but I should at least consider it. And that if you find someone good at reading and critiquing--editor or otherwise--you really should be eager to change your work, because if you trust them, then you trust that they're making your work that much better.

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