The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Looks like there will be no writing today. I have to get caught up on my tutoring paperwork.

Was thinking about editors. It has always been my very firm belief that when an editor gives advice, any writer worth his/her salt is going to identify the problem that drove the advice first--what is the problem that drove the editor to try to think of a solution?-- then consider whether the editor's fix is the right one. Editors don't care how it's fixed, so long as it's fixed. And since most editors are not writers, their offered solutions are sometimes wrong. I get annoyed when writers blindly start flinging editors' fixes at their mss, figuring it must be right because an editor said it. And then when their ms gets rejected, they're like, "But I did everything I was told to do!"

I was thinking about this, because you've got to wonder what kinds of writers editors are used to working with. They sure do seem surprised when there are overwhelming problems with a ms, yet later the writer resubmits and the big problems are solved and the ms even has a nice spark to it. It's like magic! How did that happen?

Are writers who are willing to take their ms aside and overhaul on their own from the ground up so painfully rare?

Hmm, maybe it's the focus on selling. Could be...a lot of writers, myself included, get into the trap of just trying to get something good enough to sell. It's such hard work to write a book, and the thought of somebody relieving you of the burden of identifying ms problems and solving them is like a carrot dangling in front of a weary writer's nose.

It's just funny, because several times now I have had, and have heard of other writers having, editors gingerly--tentatively--asking about certain changes they think would improve a ms. They seem to be expecting a monumental arteestic hissy fit in reply. But dude, there are some of us who have been at this a while. What you're asking is a mere peanut of change compared to the Mount Everest of change I've already made. I crushed my own writerly ego to a formless pulp about four rewrites ago. All that's left is story and characters.

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