Smog Checks, The Publishing World, and Integrity…

Copy editors encounter problems and resistance when after stating a manuscript needs work, and then proceed to explain,  as is often the case, how they can assist with developmental editing in addition to providing copy edits.

Presenting a novel that needs much work and revision to a copy editor is much like a car failing smog inspection.

The copy editor, like the gas station mechanic can say, “I can fix it the problem, make your car pass inspection.

But is this the best thing?

The car may actually need work. But the car owner doesn’t always trust her or him.

The gas station mechanic is not the best person to offer to do that work.

The operative word here is offer.

On hearing that her or his car needs work, the car owner may choose to ask the gas station owner if she or he can do the work. I have known gas station owners who refuse. “We don’t do that kind of work here,” or better yet, “State law says I can’t work on your car if I performed the smog check.”

While protection of the car owner is of paramount importance there also stands the issue of the mechanic’s integrity.

The boundaries between editor and writer often grow blurry. Likewise editors must clarify the specifics and scope of their expertise.

The publishing world is small. The community of independent editors rounds out to be much smaller.

And then there are the writers who also blog.

Though I would never write the name or discuss an editor with whom I’ve encountered problems, I will share and publicize the names of those from whose work I have benefited.

Writers who want editors to re-write their work must find ghostwriters.

Understandably they come even less cheaply than good editors.

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~ by Anjuelle Floyd on April 22, 2010.

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