The prep for WFC is moving along, got most of the books packed but it looks like we’re going to need another suitcase this time around. We’ve got quite a few new books on the horizon and I’m beginning to feel an avalanche of editing slowly building that may burst down upon me in a few weeks. I can’t really think about it before the con but I’ll probably suffer for it afterwards…

I had previously come to the decision that John isn’t critical enough to do the editing. I’ve been saying that to a lot of people lately and I hope he doesn’t take offense. Mainly he’s such an anything-goes type of person that he doesn’t see the need for reigning in disparate elements. I mean, the man eats peanut butter and icing sandwiches for god’s sake! He thinks anything goes together, the more the merrier etc. He’s a whiz at motivating authors, finding things to incite them and getting them all riled up. But when it comes to discipline, telling them they’ve got to cut or rework he’s at a loss.

I on the other hand have much more rigid ideas of how things should sound and won’t put up with any confusion in the text. One thing he is not guilty of, which many authors who try to edit are, is that he doesn’t try to edit a piece to change it into his own style. This seems to be a difficulty for many authors and I think it’s part of the reason that a lot of writers have bad experiences in writing groups. A good author is not always, or even usually, a good editor.

Of course I still have my pet peeves and preferences but I try to always keep the author’s style in mind when I’m editing and not change things too much. For example, it drives me nuts when people use a ton of dashes—like so—instead of commas which would work just fine. A lot of times newer writers use this to force a lot of pauses and artificially create drama. But some authors can really work the dash, it fits into their style and even though I don’t prefer it, I try not to cut it unless it seems particularly gratuitous.

current mood: crashly

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