There Are No Great Writers, Only Great Editors

April 22, 2016


There was a seminal statement made to me as a young English major: "There are no great writers, only great editors." (Thanks Dana) This phrase has stuck with me throughout the years as I have edited academic papers, articles, professional documents, and now, my first novel. But, the editing process for fiction is so much different than the academic and professional writing I have grown accustomed to over the years. 


Thank goodness for great editors.


Or, in this instance, one editor in particular who is keeping the editing process for The Search in motionIt is a grueling process. A tedious process. Reading and re-reading what your just read. Line by line. Until your eyes blur and your mind is numb. Editing is an all consuming pursuit. 


Many people think that putting pen to paper is the most difficult part of writing.


The fact of the matter is that finishing an initial draft of a book is JUST the BEGINNING of the editing process. It's true. Absolutely. I would argue that the most difficult part of the writing process is, instead, the editing process. 


Editing is a process of transformation. Just like a caterpillar needs to go through the molting process to become the beautiful butterfly, an unedited manuscript must be stripped down, laid bare, and then reformed into the great work of art that it is: a story.





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