Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Being An Editor

I somehow seem to have slipped into this space where I am an editor. I look at TV shows now and ask why certain elements were introduced as thematic images. I read stories and see movies and get more annoyed at plot contrivances than I used to. And I appear to have unreasonably high standards for fiction now. I recognize all of this. I try to not subject people to it unnecessarily.

But here's the thing: if I'm editing your work, for a magazine or something, I am trying to help you. I am not picking at your work because I don't like you, or because I was in a bad mood, or because it's fun to tear people down. I'm picking at your work because I want to find out what your vision is, what's the best and clearest and most compelling way to convey that to your audience. You have the right to ignore my advice, of course you do. It's your work. But getting defensive and argumentative is not a helpful response, ever. All it does is make ME want to ignore YOU.

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