Monday, May 9, 2011

The Best Part

I didn't want to lose this one, as I still maintain Peck's book is the best I've ever read on writing.

P. 97, Secrets of Successful Fiction, by Robert Newton Peck.

Your editor's prime function, in my opinion, is to cut. Painful though it may be to an author, when in doubt, throw it out. It makes sense to hearken to the folks who are working to make you richer. And you can always holler "pearls before swine!" at him or some other dandy little artistic epithet.

But your temper is less useful than your editor.

Editors know things that authors don't know. I never truly know what I have written. Why? Because I'm too close to it, deep inside it, where I can't see the whole of the book. My editor can.

I have a very good editor in my wife. She's honest, intelligent, and completely and utterly ruthless. I count myself lucky to have her, and not only for that reason.

I hope soon to develop a good relationship with a professional editor at a publishing house, willing to print my book. But I've got to get it all past my wife first. That'll be the telling test.

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