Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dear Mike: What do you look for in an editor?

Reader Question: What do you look for in an editor?

Mike: I want he or she to be “on my side.” Not working against me. Not pulling a power trip, being condescending. Not rewriting so heavy-handedly where the words read like the editor’s and not mine. Not acting negatively, obnoxiously, haughtily. Writing is indeed a collaborative effort Trust me, you need a good editor. All writers do, even great ones. I’ve been lucky. I’ve had many editors that weren’t merely good, but, in my humble opinion, great. There’s nothing like it. A great editor is such a dream, and they will make YOU great. I love the line that one of my regular editors used to say to me: “Hey, Mike, this story is great….but here’s what I’d like you to do to make it even better.” What an approach! After those words, how could I not be receptive to his suggestions?

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