July 30, 2007
What Kind of Editor Would You Be?
An ode to the editor has been posted at Salon. As you might imagine, those of us in the biz gravitate toward such praise like dogs to their own vomit. The author of the ode, former editor Gary Kamiya, lays out a nice articulation of the craft we've each aspired to. There's also good information for the to-be-edited: editorial ethics and editorial etiquette are each discussed. But what I like best about the ode are all the things I'm compared to:
Editors are craftsmen, ghosts, psychiatrists, bullies, sparring partners, experts, enablers, ignoramuses, translators, writers, goalies, friends, foremen, wimps, ditch diggers, mind readers, coaches, bomb throwers, muses and spittoons--sometimes all while working on the same piece.
There you have it: the paradox of editing. I am a bully/wimp/sparring partner. I am a bomb thrower and a spittoon. I practice husbandry and midwifery. As one writer told the author, "[Being edited] was great--better than sex!"
You can decide that for yourselves, all you married writers out there, but in the meantime, I think Behind the Books has its first Internet Quiz! It just needs to be written. So tell me: If you were an editor, what kind of editor would you be? Why do you say that?
Check all that apply and explain your answer.