Getting from Here to There
Sometimes, what we think and what we put on paper are two very different things. Not by intent, and certainly not by design, but inaccuracies can creep into the mix, and that’s why editing what you write is an essential part of any writer’s life. Editors are an absolutely critical part of the process. The truth of the matter is likely when you are starting out is when you most need one. That isn’t to say you don’t need one later on, but the helpful advice of good editors combined with refining the craft of writing shall help you avoid a lot of mistakes (and allow you the space to discover all new ones).
Though I predominately write, there are times when I, too, step onto the other side of the process, and open up a text document and turn a critical eye towards the work of others. I see mistakes I have once made, and I mark up the document and provide constructive critiques in the commentary even as I omit offending word choices and tighten up sentences and the like. I prefer to focus on content editing, leaving the line editing to the Blurry Ones, however, it’s remiss if I don’t involve myself in line editing (as necessary). Doing this sort of work is not my favorite thing (when I could, instead, be dreaming up new dark worlds to discover), but it is work, and I take work seriously. Providing proper feedback and training makes them better (as well as yourself, if you’re more of the self-serving type).
Generally, I don’t involve myself in the regular editing cycles (though I’m usually present on the first pass and my eyes are likely the last pass after all the other folks have made their marks). I make exception(s) from time to time (on a case by case basis). Whether you’re part of a writing circle, a critique group, or a fellow publisher, it’s good to get your hands dirty and keep a pulse on the workflow.
And when I hit a passage and read something which rings true in my ear? Something no one else has yet seen? Why, it’s quite magical. (And, really, isn’t that what it’s all about?)
I guess this is kinda my oblique announcement we’ll be publishing some fiction in the future. Details shall be forthcoming on what and when and all that kinda jazz.
Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!