The Editor vs. The Writer


This morning a I received an e-mail from my editor, who requested I allow her to “correct” the impression that TRR’s growth was a joint effort:

“While I am grateful for the generous credit you have given your editor in your most recent post, I must take exception to the implication that this is a joint project. 
 
The creativity: story line, character development, scene details, pace and flow of the chapters, all comes from that pretty imaginative head of yours.  Me, I am just putting some seriously negative character traits (anal, picky, fussy) to some positive use.
 
This is your baby, from start to finish.  I haven’t a creative bone in my body and envy your expansive imagination. So please correct the impression that I have helped create this wonderful story.  ALL the credit should be yours.”

As the writer, I feel like I must combat a bit of this. And as someone who has a hard time keeping her mouth shut, I will, despite the fact that this could turn into an epic battle between editor and author (both of which are probably far too humble about their own efforts).

I believe editors play an incredible role in helping an author reach their writing potential. Yes, the story and its characters come from my mind, but it takes an attentive and skilled editor to help bring out the best version of an author’s work. From the long phone calls agonizing about character development to the edits that critique grammar, detail and the story itself, I can confidently say that TRR has become a better novel thanks to the aid and dedication of an editor.

So thank you.

And no, I’m not retracting this statement.

-Elli

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One thought on “The Editor vs. The Writer

  1. That was really wonderful of your editor to say, but I agree with you: you’re the author, the story is always yours, but the “best” of your story is the editor. I feel this way every time someone helps me, no matter how small it is. My story is better because of that person, and that is not credit I can claim.

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