Author-Editor relationships

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Author-Editor relationships

Post by soldier-sorcerer on Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:14 pm

So in one of the courses I was taking, the professor was talking about the editor-author relationship and how it functions. She herself has worked in the publishing industry as an editor.

Basically, there are two main kinds of editing that a manuscript goes through when it is accepted for publication by a publisher. These are Substantive editing and copy editing.

Substantive editing, also called Developmental editing, is a stage in which the "big picture" issues of a manuscript are looked at. So, it includes a closer look at Plot, Characters, Point of View, Dialogue, Setting, Premise, Ending, Symbolism, etc.

Copy editing focuses on finer language issues like grammar and punctuation, logic, ambiguity, diction, distinctive treatment of text, etc. It polishes up the manuscript before the final stages.

My comment is about the Substantive editing stage. The professor was saying that during this stage, the editor gets to know the author's mind really well. She told a story about one author who said that his editor understood the way his mind works (the cognitive patterns and intricacies) better than his own wife.

The professor said that this was all a part of the editor-author relationship, because it is a very close working relationship where the editor really needs to be able to understand the author's vision for their story and make sure they are both in agreement about how it should be edited.

It kind of got me thinking about how nervous someone would be if they had writing with consanguinamory themes. As open-minded as editors are supposed to be, I think some authors would still feel very intimidated if they are going in with "taboo" material.

At the same time, there are obviously authors out there who have managed to publish "taboo" works of fiction, and non-fiction too. This makes me wonder what kind of author-editor relationship they must've had...

I imagine it would feel pretty wonderful to find an editor that "gets" it, even more so when you have something like this on your hands.

The professor joked that there were some authors she had worked with where by the end she felt she knew their inner mind so well that she could say something like, "Your cognitive development was arrested at the age of 14". I thought that was hilarious. I'd like to think that I know my complexes well enough that nothing an editor could say would surprise me.

I'm nowhere near being ready to publish something yet, but as someone who is going to have canon consensual incest in my fiction, I find the idea of the author-editor relationship to be both exciting and scary.  Like a Star @ heaven
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soldier-sorcerer

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