Wednesday, May 18, 2011

You need an editor and you and you and, yes even YOU!

I call it the Cone of Obliviousness. It's this invisible shield that enables us to see and know and understand EXACTLY what other people in our situation, or sometimes in wildly different situations, world-changing situations even, should do. Yet, they seem to be totally oblivious to what THEY ought to be doing.

Writers are the worst.

Well, Okay, I mostly know writers well enough to THINK they are the worst. They start stuff they don't finish. They finish stuff they shouldn't have started. They treasure words, phrases, sentences, ideas, themes that they should bury, yes buried treasures. There is a reason they are in deep, dark holes. Not that they should never be dug up again, but... HELP! I NEED AN EDITOR!

I need another set of objective eyes to tell me my story is off track or that something doesn't work. A GOOD editor also tells you when something makes them laugh or makes them think or brings a tear to their eye. A good editor knows how to work around the Cone of Obliviousness and a good writer understands it exists.  Both protect the work.

This is the thing I fear most in the epub self pub revolution that too many people will be uploading from the landing place of the CONE OF OBLIVIOUSNESS. We all need editing, we all need input from other sources. It may sound like heresy but I don't think it has to be a professional editor. Frankly I can say this here because so few people read it, but I think to many editors via the publisher's model are strangling their writers/books/lines. They are choking the life out of them with nonsense until they don't mean anything or they all mean the same thing.
An editor can be an avid reader, an English major, a fellow author - not your spouse, best friend or parent unless they can be brutally honest and your relationship can survive it. But you need an editor. In blogging that's often the readers and comments.
If you feel so moved to edit this thought - please do!