Make sure you’re on the same page.
by Andy Scheer
I did the writer a favor—by redirecting her to another editor.
Somehow she hadn’t realized her style and mine fall on opposite ends of spectrum. In my class for her writers group, I’d advocated that “vigorous writing is concise.” I’d shown where excess words often lurk in prose. I’d even given examples of my editing.
When she asked about editing her novel, I assumed she resonated with my perspective. But from the first paragraph, I could tell she’d come to the wrong editor.
Rather than let readers’ imagination take an active role, this author had filled in every blank. Aiming for sophistication, she’d raided her thesaurus.
I could edit her novel.
But neither of us
would have been happy.
Yes, I could edit her novel. But neither of us would have been happy.
So I pointed her to an editor much more at home with the conventions and vocabulary of her genre—and the expectations of its readers.
When considering an editor, skill is important. But so is style.