Every writer I know is, first, a reader. We all have memories of our first books. For me, it was Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth.
From the beginning, many books hold significance to us. For me the stand outs have to be Call Me By Your Name, Room, Rivers of London, The Swimming Pool Library. I could tell you where I was when I read these and I still hold those emotions that I experienced when reading.
Authors have a great skill in crafting worlds that we, as readers, slip into so easily. We invest in the characters: feel their emotions, want the best for them.
So why then, did I become an editor and not a writer?
Well, if you know the publishing industry, you’ll know it’s not as simple as that! Writing, comparatively, is the easy part! (Sorry writers! I know how hard you slave over those words!)
Behind any great author is their editor, giving them a fresh perspective, another view, a contradictory thought. The skill in great fiction editing is not to create but to mould. The author has done an amazingly difficult job in writing the world, the editor is there, on the author’s side, wanting the very best from that manuscript.
Very often, the job is characterised as a pedant’s role: ensuring every semicolon and grammatical gremlin is ironed out. And yes, that’s important, but storytelling, for me, is the key. Can we get the best story that will leave us with those lasting feelings?
I’m happy to sit here in the shadows, quietly adjusting, quietly suggesting, making manuscripts into the best stories.
If you’d like me to champion your manuscript, please get in touch and we’ll get to work together.
Nick (he/him) is an editor and proofreader, specialising in LGBTQ+ writing. He is an Intermediate Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading and a member of PEN, the Professional Editors Network.
To find out more and to work with Nick, use the buttons above.
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