Posts Tagged editor

Should be the easiest thing.

Just land the plane, already.

Book Three.


As revising goes, it’s so simple. Nothing much to carry in your head, not much by way of artistic issue. Just a press-your-butt-into-the-chair kind of job to do.

You set up a synchronized scroll, get the page widths right. Then all you have to do is roll to the next red mark, and accept or reject the edit. But there is something intensely and unavoidably personal at stake. An editor has the key to your sock drawer. She sees all, knows all. Consistency, Chicago style, agreement, continuity: all that is purely technical, semi-mechanical.

“Candlestick maker, so much more, Sarah Felicity?”
“No doubts, a clean machine.” Felicity picksed rice from the tight black curls of her hair.
“Can anyone say we should not continue?”
Danni coughsed. “The issues not addressed? Sliding on the easy?”
“We can only say,” Dulce speaokse calmly, with decision, “we have weighed what could be weighed and have elected to flop together into a shared future.”
“Baby come out white, ready for that?” Danni asksed.
“Every baby,” Carrie answersed, “is her own miracle.” It iwas easy to grab Harris under her arms, because her fists awere raised as she chargesd at Danni. Carrie liftsed her off the ground so her feet haved no purchase, though they scrambled against the air for a second. Carrie liftsed her sister high and locksed eyes. She turnsed slowly to the left, all the way around, and lowersed her into place. She bendst to kiss the top of Harris’s head and speaokse very softly. “It’s good, my wild one, really. It is all good.” She brushesd the back of her hand gently down the cheek of her other sister, standing rigid by Harris, hands clenched at her sides. “Dear Syd, it is love working. Trust!”
Savion’s voice boomsed. “Baker!”
Gene saysid, “Good as it can be, way better than most. I bless, with my full authority.” His sisters’ eyes awere wide;, they haved never heard him speak so many words at once.
Savion. “Butcher!”
Danni saysid, “I have proved the rule. I accede, stipulating there will be trials.”

      But the higher value, and the deeper fright, comes in the comments:

            What does this mean? I get the Star Wars reference, but I don’t know the second meaning.

A process you have chosen, engaged with, paid for. But can you bear it to the end, 350 pages more?



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She seems nice. Edit, adit, obit: ever a crossword.

I met her on the internet, I replied to her ad. Smooth sailing, surely, thence-from-there-forward.

She’s freelance, doesn’t work for a house. But her eye is good, and relentless. Some degree of compassion, also, I’m almost sure. Trust but verify. If you can.

Rates are within trade norms, fuzzy edges, though between the copy- and line- options.

But Ghost Walk is a big book, many pages, many words, many hours. Is she up to it? And is the edit worth the fee? Measured along what scale, or against what result?


Book Three.



I think so. But there is not a more intimate relation than a writer with an editor. Success in collaboration is not guaranteed nor in any way insurable. How will this end? All previous winnings bet on one number, on one spin, with no hedging on the red or even halves. What would Geoffrey do? What would Ellen do? So much easier to write their parts than mine.

Oh, look, that’s it: edge of the cliff. To the metal, Thelma, fly! Where’s my blankey?


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