Sunday, February 12, 2012

If you want to grow up to be an editor what should you do to enhance your chances?

Well first, if you want to be an editor you should probably get a mental health assessment as it’s not a well-paid job, and it is a lot of hard work. But having said that, you meet amazing people, (although often only “virtually” meet them), and you get to read some wonderful books. Sadly, you also get to read hundreds of not-so-good books.
You need to study grammar and literature. Your spelling, grammar and understanding of the rules must be really high. So high people make jokes about you. You need to read all the time, so you can see the difference between popular fiction, great literature, and where the two overlap. It’s a well known fact that great literature is rarely popular and doesn’t sell well. Publishers are in business to sell books so they want stories that engage ordinary people, not just literary fanatics.

Many editors begin by reviewing books, critiquing stories, and as newspaper journalists. Others go straight to editing from university English degrees. Either way, if you’re the kind of person who notices typos in newspapers, magazines and books, and is always surrounded by a mountain of books you’re reading, it may be the job for you.

Helen Woodall


Amarinda Jones said...

And most important of all - just because you can write doesn't mean you can edit.

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

Yes, Amarinda that is true. They are two quite different skill sets - the ability to weave a story people want to read, and the ability to to polish it up so there are no plot holes and grammatical messes.