Friday, June 24, 2016


Recently, I decided that I am interested in being an editor. Possibly professionally, since it’s something I can do from home. I read a ton anyway, and I really do love giving critique and feedback, so I figured, why not give it a try? I posted on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook that I was interested in being a workshopper, thinking it’d probably be a cold day in hell when someone decided to take me up on it.

Much to my shock and delight, though, someone did contact me yesterday. I’m so super excited about this, guys. I can’t even.

I critiqued Becky’s novel, New Year’s Revolution, as you know if you’ve been reading this blog for a while. I let my friend Rachel, who is a professional editor, read the editor’s letter I sent to Becky. She told me that I had good instincts for what improvements could be made, but that my delivery needed work. I’m excited to work on those things.

For example, I always approach a perceived problem with how to fix it. As an editor, I need to quash that impulse. It’s up to the writer to fix it, if they even choose to. So, that requires me to think more deeply about the problem itself. In order to present the issue to the writer, I’m going to need to really put my finger on what the specific problem is, and why it’s a problem. Sometimes even what leaving it unchanged could mean. But not how to change it.

I also feel like I need to work on the snark. I always have an impulse to snark on things that bug me, like the overuse of a word, or too many rhetorical questions. That might be okay when it’s your friend’s writing and they can intuit your tone of voice, but when it’s someone who is (basically) a professional colleague, I need to put a lid on it. This is just another way of saying I need to be able to put my finger right on the problem that I’m perceiving, not to diminish or trivialize it (or for that matter, the author) by making fun of it.

Of course, my first critique is going to be unfiltered Elly. I just need to get comfortable with the idea of a rough draft of feedback itself. To go back through and make world-safe my very internal monologue before releasing it upon an unsuspecting vic… ahem, public.

Until Monday!

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