Writers and Editors, The Perfect Recipe

Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.


This quote by Patricia Fuller was what appeared on the first slide of my Introduction to Linguistics lecture in my first year of university. At first I thought it was our lecturer trying to calm our rattled yet enthusiastic souls with humour but then I came across the same quote a few weeks later in my English 1 handbook. I thought it was quite silly since obviously people revise their work, who wouldn’t? I do it all the time. Needless to say 6 essays later, two of which averaged below 45%, I realized that I had been revising, not necessarily writing, my work all wrong. I had been revising it myself. My writing was decent which all the lecturers cited in their comments, but it was the coherent and cohesive errors which cost me, minor mistakes that I had overlooked. My classmates and reluctant siblings then became my editors for the next four years.

Writers are creators and some believe that editing kills the creative process. Therefore a slightly more technically minded and objective party is required to jointly create a seamless and lucid piece of literature. The reader of a text should never be preoccupied with errors and inconsistencies since this takes away from the significance of the writers message (http://www.authorhouse.com/authorResources/writing/resources/editing.aspx).

The collaboration of the writer and editor is fundamental and the roles of both parties should be understood and respected. A good editor lets the writers voice and opinion avail. His job is to work alongside the writer and assist and guide, only intervening where needed or required. Kind of like a Batman (writer) and Robin (editor) relationship, Batman is the hero and Robin the sidekick.

An editor needs to understand the aim and purpose of the writer and what they are trying to get across to the reader in order to strengthen and clarify it. An understanding and familiarity of the subject matter and especially the style of the writer is important in order to achieve this. The mecca however, being the partnership of these individuals.(http://ooligan.pdx.edu/the-writer-editor-relationship/).