Surgical Precision

I hate doing the dishes.

It’s tiresome, repetitive, and the damn things just make themselves dirty again. I swear I have nothing to do with them getting dirty again. But dishes are the bane of my existence, and as soon as I can figure out an elegant way of having people over for dinner and serve them with paper plates I’ll be a millionaire.

But doing the dishes is a lot like copy editing.  You have to make certain that everything is clean before you eat off of it, or else it just doesn’t come out right.

Editors are, by and large, a very odd bunch of people. They are the ones who read through internet threads, denouncing someone when they mix up the “their” for “they’re” and drawing the wrath of people who really don’t give a crap. But those same oddsters are the ones who save you from yourself while you’re reading the latest novel of your favorite author. Because there’s nothing like being thrown out of your reading reverie by a typo or line which will make you scratch your head. But then again, how does an editor know what line to keep and which one to take out?

The best type of editor is the one who can recognize your voice and style and adjust the edits accordingly. Too often have I seen examples where and editor has effectively neutered an author’s style and voice with a few changes per line. Good editors know what to look for when editing, and can make the right changes.

After all, editors need the authors as much as the authors need editors.

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