From Cheryl's Writing Crate
When I first began writing, I didn't really know much about editors and what they would mean to me. I knew an editor's job was to make corrections to improve a writer's piece, but I honestly didn't think much about it until I had been writing for a magazine for a good six months to a year.
It was then I gradually began to see how how each of my articles went from good to very good or great to outstanding. My editor was a fresh set of eyes and was always able to make my finished writing pieces look even better.
If you're a writer who hasn't been published yet or has not had the experience of working with a professional editor, let me share some information with you on this wonderful profession in the world of writing--the editor:
An editor polishes and refines, he/she directs the focus of the story or article or movie along a particular course. He/she cuts out what doesn’t fit, what is nonessential to the purpose of the story. He/she enhances the major points, drawing attention to places where the audience should focus.
Many fields make use of editors—film, video, magazine, newspaper, blog, and book, both fiction and non-fiction. A task common to all is to ensure that the product they produce is the best it can be in the time available and with the resources available.
Newspapers/MagazinesThere are several levels of editors at newspapers and magazines.
Editor in chief or editor at-large—Responsible for the type of content produced by their newspapers or magazines, the look of the product, and the nature and number of stories/articles to be written.
Managing editor—Works under the most senior editor. Directs writers to particular stories. May write some of the stories. May be responsible for one section of a newspaper (business or style or local news) or magazine. May write headlines or may delegate that task to others.
Copy editor—Responsible for checking article facts and ensuring that an article matches in-house style guides. Also checks spelling, grammar, and punctuation. May also suggest word changes to keep the newspaper or magazine from being sued. May arrange layout of articles and sidebars. Copy editors might write headlines.
Depending on the size and scope of the publication, a newspaper or magazine editor may perform a combination of the tasks mentioned above. Their job is to see that interesting and/or informative articles are produced in a timely and accurate manner, with no factual errors and few writing errors.
A competent editor finds these elusive gaps and goofs. The editor does not rewrite an author’s work, does not interfere with an author’s unique voice or style. The editor is simply another tool in the writer’s quiver; a tool that helps the author move information seamlessly from inside the brain to the page.
Editors want your story to be successful. Editors read. They write. They love words and the millions of stories that can be crafted from them. They assemble parts of a manuscript as if they were puzzle pieces, putting them together to make a fascinating and appealing picture, a picture that readers will want to explore in depth.
They are typically picky, sticklers for what they believe is right, opinionated, and determined. They often have a great eye for detail, a strong vocabulary, and knowledge of odd grammar rules.
They enjoy working with—and playing with—words.
Editors are enhancers. They work to make what is good better, what is great, outstanding. They challenge writers. They challenge themselves.
Now that you have a better understanding of what an editor does, you can probably see what a valuable asset they are to writers. I know I would never want to be a professional writer without an excellent editor by my side--what about you?