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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Monster or Mentor?

- E D I T O R -


...the one word that can cause chills to run down the spine of a writer.

The thought of the “all powerful editor” holding your precious manuscript in their hands to shred to pieces or, hopefully, see a creative, unique diamond, has led to many sleepless nights for those awaiting their fate in the publishing industry.

Does this sound like you?

Well, I’ll let you in on a secret that might give you just a little more sleep tonight. We are not “all powerful” (I still can’t fly or make the dirty dishes disappear with a snap of my fingers), and it is definitely not our goal to shred your dreams. We are not faceless monsters, or even remotely inhuman for that matter—in fact, we are all too human, only proven if you could see how we struggle with having to tell an author their manuscript is not ready for publication, that they aren’t quite as far along in their dream as they hoped.

- E D I T O R -


Instead of picturing the top floor of a brutishly tall office building, clean, crisp skirts and suits behind goliath desks, outboxes piled high with manuscripts riddled with big red slashes, picture your favourite teacher from school, or the coach who made a difference in the way you played and enjoyed your favourite sport.

At least, that is the way I hope my authors look at me. Not as some be all and end all of their manuscript, but as a coach who stands beside them, works with them, shows them where they can improve and encourages them to make their story the very best it can be. And, like with any sport, practice furthers your development and effort brings accomplishment.

~ M E N T O R ~


Whether you are submitting to a publisher or using an independent editor, think of them as a mentor, someone waiting for you to submit, ready to assist you, excited to help you achieve your dreams.

Changing the way you think about editors can help get you a bit more sleep at night, because there is honestly no monster on the other end of the SEND button. In truth, if not for writers, there would be no need for editors. YOU are that important to us.

Now, that’s not to say you should be disrespectful or too casual in your correspondence to editors. As with a teacher or coach, respect and listening skills go a long way with how they will treat you.  At the same time, most editors should also earn your respect by their actions and guidance whether through an encouraging rejection letter or during the editing process. 

So, don't be afraid of the word "editor" because, personally, I love when authors ask questions, whether simple or complex, because it shows me they WANT to learn and better their craft.  And that is what I'm here for--to coach, encourage, and inspire you.

From this Mentor:
Embrace the unknown and conquer the fear by asking questions and finding the answers, because answers can light up a whole new path you never even knew was there.



©bystacydawn
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6 comments:

  1. I love my editor! She's the one who saw and loved my story as much as I did. After we polished it up, I stood back and marveled how great it was with her help.

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  2. I love my editor too, and I suspect she may be one in the same person as Ilona Fridl's editor. She's become far more than either editor or mentor. She works with me, suffers with me, sympathizes with me and feels my stories right along with me. I hope I can call her friend.

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