How Is It to Be an Editor? The Whole Truth
If somebody says you that there is nothing special about being an editor, this person has a superficial understanding of the profession and can’t really appreciate this job. Of course, working as the editor you can feel strong and weak sides, but this is typical of any occupation. Today we talk not only about the profession and its benefits, but also in this article we cover one very special point – what do you learn while working as the editor. Writing and reading are two main types of activities any editor is involved in.
When you work with a great number of various text created by different authors, you analyze them and see what qualities are necessary for writing a novel, a short story, lyrics or any other genres. This statement is confirmed by many specialists in the sphere of editing. On the basis of their experience they highlight several key points that largely formed their perceptions of writing.
The author should be flexible and open-minded
In the very beginning the draft is constantly changing, and that’s normal. At this stage everything is unstable and open to discussion. Even before the draft of the book is shown to the editor, its text has been changed for many times. The more time passes, the less the author is inclined to make any changes to the work. The matter is that the author is the person who built the book and knows it inside out, that’s why no one else can better correct it.
Be ready for constant revision
This principle is known to everybody who is involved in this business, but nevertheless it should be discussed. The first draft is a basis that covers main ideas and the plot of the future book, but its writing is only half of the battle. You can be talented in writing, but it doesn’t mean you are patient enough to revise the draft again and again until it looks more or less decent. Frankly speaking, this part is usually considered as the most challenging. While creating the book you aim to share some particular ideas with the world, but they aren’t clearly defined in the first draft. Of course, you see what you are trying to say, as it’s written in your own language, but the audience won’t accept this piece of writing. You have to sharpen your style and language again and again, only after that the readers will be able to look with you in one direction.
Create the powerful beginning
One of the special features in the editor’s work is to process submissions quickly and to render judgments about books from several pages. You shouldn’t underestimate the power of the beginning; it’s a crucial part of the book. Writer’s task is to grab readers’ attention at once; otherwise, the book won’t be popular among the readers, because they rate books similar to the editors. Make every effort to create the powerful beginning, and it will affect your success.
Control the pacing
Many people don’t pay a lot attention to it or take it for granted; pacing is considered as mechanical aspects of writing, but it plays a pretty big role. Being the editor you learn to see and pinpoint the moments in the book, where the author should slow down the pace or, on the contrary, make it run faster. The ability to manipulate the pace is an extremely useful tool for writers.
Don’t abuse the stage direction
Quite often both young and experienced authors overuse the stage descriptions. Describing a particular scene the writer may be too fond of visualization and depict every single physical movement. No doubts, that sort of information must take place in the text, but its quantity should be balanced. In some cases it may turn into ballast that draws the book to the bottom.
Don’t prolong the text
Sometimes authors like to warm up before proceeding to the merits. They add unnecessary details, such as sense descriptions, which use is unjustified, but the matter is that you can’t be distracted by little things, when you want to create a truly quality product. Even if the author finds some piece suitable, the editor may have an opposite idea, that’s why don’t be surprised when he/she doesn’t share your opinion and mark some paragraphs as superfluous.
Despite everything said above, neither the writer nor the editor can rule the whole process, there are always facts that are out of control, and all you can do is to accept them. It’s almost impossible to predict readers’ perception and reaction, but you must do everything that depends on you.