Monday, September 22, 2008

Falling In and Out of Love with Your Manuscript

Many of the people in my position have come to it through the editorial ranks. I was never that smart. In fact, I was ready to pack in my college career to go backpacking through Europe after meeting with an advisor midway through my freshman year. It was time to choose a major. My test scores showed a proclivity for math and science, though I was not interested in anything connected to those fields. And as my advisor put it, "You don't like to read. Clearly you cannot write and have no artistic inclinations. I don't know what to tell you."

Thank God for Communications Arts & Science. I studied advertising and mass media.
Later, after college, is when I discovered reading for pleasure. And, actually, I had been writing since junior high. I just needed some training. At any rate, I do not think like an editor. Editors are very special people with a very special skill set. I have, and have had, the privilege of working with and becoming friends with some great ones, though I still have a long way to go in understanding the mind of an editor.

Here's a great post from a "recovering editorial assistant" on the four stages of the "Editorial Cycle," that lends some insight into the editorial mind. At least I could recognize some of my friends, and some of myself, in it. I imagine authors go through some similar stages too. In fact, YA author Libba Bray, wrote this blog post about falling in and out of love with a novel she is writing. I heard her speak at BookExpo a couple years ago. Hilarious.


Anonymous said...

Your advisor's comment reminds me of what Jerry said to George after he made a reference to his own artistic integrity: "Artistic integrity? You're not artistic, and you have no integrity."

Clearly, your advisor was wrong since you are a hero to all in the publishing world now.

Paul Mikos said...

Mom, you've got to stop posting comments like this. It's embarassing.

But thanks.