Creative Writers Need Creative Editors

5 Oct

ronaldpaxton

Every writer needs a good editor with the ability to clean up and polish a manuscript, to make it better, and to do it in a way that doesn’t antagonize or threaten the author of the work.

What makes a good editor? A thorough understanding of grammar and punctuation is essential, of course, including specific knowledge of the particular manual of style they are following in editing the manuscript. The ability to apply that understanding is critical. I understand the rules of grammar and punctuation, but I don’t always apply them correctly. Thank God for grammar check computer programs and sharp-eyed editors!

Okay, here’s my point: The most important qualities for an editor of fiction are creativity and flexibility. We talk about creative writing. Why don’t we talk about creative editing? Where are the creative editing classes in colleges and universities? Where are the MFA degree programs in creative editing? Where are…

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