I used to be really fat, but now I'm not. I used to have hair, but now I don't. I used to be able to see without corrective lenses, but now I can't. One of these this is exacerbated by the fact that I'm an editor. One of these things is true despite the fact that I'm an editor. One of them has nothing to do with me being an editor.
John Joseph Adams
That is an editor. He is trying to think of a word. He props his feet on a chair, which is the editor's way; then he can think better. I do not care much for this one; his ears are not alike; still, editor suggests the sound of Edward, and he will do. I could make him better if I had a model, but I made this one from memory. But is no particular matter; they all look alike, anyway. They are conceited and troublesome, and don't pay enough.
My last point about getting started as a writer: do something first, good or bad, successful or not, and write it up before approaching an editor. The best introduction to an editor is your own written work, published or not. I traveled across Siberia on my own money before ever approaching an editor; I wrote my first book, Siberian Dawn, without knowing a single editor, with no idea of how to get it published. I had to risk my life on the Congo before selling my first magazine story. If the rebel spirit dwells within you, you won't wait for an invitation, you'll invade and take no hostages.
One of the good things is the relationship between director and editor used to be more contentious. Studios used to leave directors alone more during the post production process and now they're clamoring to get in. So, the director and the editor end up teaming up sort of against the studio to fight what they're doing and you lose the creative tension that you used to have between an editor and a director.
What makes a good editor is staying the hell out of the way as much as possible. ... If you're a DC or Marvel or Dark Horse or BOOM! editor who's assigning work, then if you did your job properly to begin with, then the people you've hired can be trusted to do what they do without excessive meddling. The ideal situation you're shooting for as an editor is to groom a collaborative creative team to the point where their work sails effortlessly through production and the most you have to do is fix the spelling and the commas.
There are similarities between being an editor and a tailor. Tailors have a vast supply of fabrics, buttons and thread at their disposal and put it together to make a whole. That's what an editor does - looks at society at a given time and pulls together the interesting aspects into a single issue each month.
I worked as an assistant editor, actually, for a few years. That was right when I was just starting to get out at night and do a lot of stand-up, improv, and sketch work in New York. It really is invaluable. I think it pounded into me an awareness of what an editor wants and needs, in terms of clarity of a moment, where and when to start and stop a line.
Never submit an idea or chapter to an editor or publisher, no matter how much he would like you to. Writing from the approved idea is (another) gravely serious time-waster. This is your story. Try and find out what your editor wants in advance, but then try and give it to him in one piece.
As an editor, you're constantly dealing with the best way to convey an exchange between two people. So when I'm shooting that, I'm just aware in the back of my head what an editor might want. And also, the problems editors run into when trying to edit performances - it helps me head that off at the pass a little.
Everything else - music, cinematography, costumes, design, acting - can be judged at face value. But when you're looking at editing, you don't know what the totality of the material was, and you don't know the working dynamic between a director and an editor - whether the editor was micromanaged or given free rein. It's very difficult.
I once had an editor advise me, as I was revising one of my early novels, to add more characters. I played around with the idea. As soon as I'd decided a few fresh faces and give them something to do, I realized that what my editor had really asked for was more plot. Ding. More characters equals more action.
In terms of my career, it began in earnest when I was living in Boston. I started doing my own films, working initially as an editor and editing assistant - briefly - at WGBH, as an editor on other people's movies, trying to get some experience under my belt, but eventually just doing my own short films, doing them my way.
I think there's a lot of benefit in letting people vent. When I was on the Manchester Evening News, we got 500 letters a day, and part of my job as editor was to edit them. And I thought that was one of the best things in the newspaper, and it was instituted by an editor known as Big Tom, who said 'this is the voice of the people.' And he was quite right.
This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don't consider it rejected. Consider that you've addressed it 'to the editor who can appreciate my work' and it has simply come back stamped 'Not at this address'. Just keep looking for the right address.
When she got back from taking Cassie to school Fancy knew that she ought to be working on her wilderness romance. She had promised thirty thousand words to her editor by tomorrow, and she had only written eleven. Specifically: His rhinoceros smelled like a poppadom: sweaty, salty, strange and strong. Her editor would cut that line.
We have to defend views we don't share and impose them on the public; deal with questions we don't understand and vulgarize them for the gallery. We can't have ideas of our own, we have to have those of the editor; and even the editor doesn't have the right to think with his own head, because when he's sent for by the board of directors he has to stifle his own views, if he has any, and support those of the shareholders.
That name was a kind of joke, and not a very good one. An author, Leon Lederman, wanted to call it 'that goddamn particle' because it was clear it was going to be a tough job finding it experimentally. His editor wouldn't have that, and he said, 'okay, call it the God particle, ' and the editor accepted it. I don't think he should've have done, because it's so misleading'.
I worked at my high school newspaper at Andover, which came out weekly, unusual for a high school paper. Then my first day at Penn I went right to the 'Daily Pennsylvanian' and pretty much spent most of my college career working both as the sports editor and then editor of the editorial page.
That name was a kind of joke, and not a very good one. An author, Leon Lederman, wanted to call it 'that goddamn particle' because it was clear it was going to be a tough job finding it experimentally. His editor wouldn't have that, and he said 'okay, call it the God particle', and the editor accepted it. I don't think he should've have done, because it's so misleading.
Every day is still exciting. I have like a very good system worked out with my editor. Some directors are in there every day, sitting there in the room with the editor. I lose perspective incredibly quickly, and so what I do is I watch...I come in the room and give very specific notes and then I go back to my house or in my office and I watch the dailies.
1. Write like you'll live forever - fear is a bad editor. 2. Write like you'll croak today - death is the best editor. 3. Fooling others is fun. Fooling yourself is a lethal mistake. 4. Pick one - fame or delight. 5. The archer knows the target. The poet knows the wastebasket. 6. Cunning and excess are your friends. 7. TV and liquor are your enemies. 8. Everything eternal happens in a spare room at 3 a.m. 9. You're done when the crows sing.
Every first-rate editor I have ever heard of reads, edits and rewrites every word that goes into his publication.... Good editors are not 'permissive'; they do not let their colleagues do 'their thing'; they make sure that everybody does the 'paper's thing.' A good, let alone a great editor is an obsessive autocrat with a whim of iron, who rewrites and rewrites, cuts and slashes, until every piece is exactly the way he thinks it should have been done.
Some mediocre ladies in influential positions are usually embarrassed by an unusual book and so prefer the old familiar stuff which doesn't embarrass them and also doesn't give the child one slight inkling of beauty and reality. This is most discouraging to a creative writer, like you, and also to a hardworking and devoted editor like me. I love most of my editor colleagues but I must confess that I get a little depressed and sad when some of their neat little items about a little girl in old Newburyport during the War of 1812 gets [sic] adopted by a Reading Circle.
Leonard S. Marcus
Rosenfeld went to work for the Herald Tribune after his graduation from Syracuse University and has always been an editor, never a reporter. He was inclined to worry that too many reporters on the metropolitan staff were incompetent, and thought even the best reporters could be saved from self-destruction only by the skills of an editor. His natural distrust of reporters was particularly acute on the Watergate story, where the risks were very great, and he was in the uncomfortable position of having to trust Bernstein and Woodward more than he had ever trusted any reporters. - Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
"I think we'll have a good potato crop this year," a newspaper editor told his housekeeper one morning. "No such thing," asserted the housekeeper. "I think the crop will be poor." Ignoring her remark, the editor caused to be inserted in the evening paper his estimate of the crop situation. That night when he returned home he found the housekeeper waiting for him with a sheepish grin on her face and a copy of the paper in her hand. "I was wrong," she said apologetically. "It says right here in the paper that the crop will be excellent this fall."
I don't think anybody has been in a better place at a better time than I was when I was editor of Vogue. Vogue always did stand for people's lives. I mean, a new dress doesn't get you anywhere: it's the life you're living in the dress, and the sort of life you had lived before, and what you will do in it later. Like all great times, the sixties were about personalities. It was the first time when mannequins became personalities. It was a time of great goals, an inventive time and these girls invented themselves. Naturally, as an editor I was there to help them along.