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Paper dreams

Reflections on editing

Office corner

"There were creative writing teachers long before there were creative writing courses, and they were called  At the deskand continue to be called editors."  - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

"Editing should be, especially in the case of old writers, a counseling rather than a collaborating task. The tendency of the writer-editor to collaborate is natural, but he should say to himself, How can I help this writer to say it better in his own style? and avoid How can I show him how I would write it, if it were my piece?"  - James Thurber

"Editors are craftsmen, ghosts, psychiatrists, bullies, sparring partners, experts, enablers, ignoramuses, translators, writers, goalies, friends, foremen, wimps, ditch diggers, mind readers, coaches, bomb throwers, muses and spittoons — sometimes all while working on the same piece."  - Gary Kimaya

"Will you tell me my fault, frankly as to yourself, for I had rather wince, than die. Men do not call the surgeon to commend the bone, but to set it, Sir."  - Emily Dickinson

"You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke."   - Arthur Plotnik (The Elements of Editing)

Editing desk

 A few editing-related links:

* My anthology-editing partner, Ellen Datlow, is having an end-of-the-year book sale, selling off out-of-print and hard-to-find anthologies (including volumes we edited together) at discounted prices. This is for U.S. buyers only (due to postage costs), but if you're in the States go have a browse.

* I was very sorry to hear that Karen Meisner is stepping down from her editorial role at Strange Horizons, where she will certainly be missed -- but I also know that when it's time to move on, you've got to take the jump. I wish her all the very best in whatever comes next.

* Howard and Rex reflect on the process of being editing over on John Barleycorn.

* Did I remember to mention that I did an interview on the French ActuSF website, discussing editing fantasy and other things? The English-language version is here. Also, I posted a longer piece about editing on this blog in February. If you missed it, you'll find it here.

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