I am a person with strong opinions, especially about things that I am passionate about. This is how a conversation I had with a friend from my Thursday writing group became the topic of this post.
We met last night since this week, Thursday is New Year’s Eve, and Susan asked Laura if the story she recently finished will become a series. That led us to discussing how you can create a series from a story you didn’t mean to be a series, if a publisher/editor ask you to make it a series.
That led to Laura mentioning an author who she enjoys reading, who writes books with good storylines, but she said it is also obvious that the writer isn’t a strong writer and there are often errors such as spelling and grammar even with a traditional publisher, which caused me to ask “Where Have the Editors Gone?”
Everything I have learned is that we have to be strong writers and we need to put out our very best. We need to do a lot of reading, especially in the genre we want to write, and we should find at least one writers’ group to be a part of, and we should never stop studying the craft of writing. I’ve heard the stories about hundreds of rejections and the demanding editors.
Yet, so many, even bestselling writers, are getting published and hitting bestseller status, yet they’re writing is lacking.
My question then is “Where have the Editors Gone?”
So, Laura asked an agent about this. She wanted to know how this is possible. How are these books not getting edited?
The response she received was that they have already established a following and the books are selling. It all depends on numbers and as long as you’re making big money, the publishers and editors don’t care whether the writing is good quality. This agent also mentioned that this is also why you will sometimes read an earlier book by a writer that is better written than later books because often good writers will stop working hard to do their best once they hit big numbers because they don’t have to produce the same quality once they’ve become successful.
To all of this, I say, “WHAT?! It is ridiculous that today’s readers are accepting poorly written books and then hailing them as “wonderful” in book reviews, blog posts, and on Good Reads. For goodness sake, can you at least write an honest review and let the author know that you like the story line but think they should improve their writing. It is possible to do this in a kind way. I have done it. Just read this post for an example. I believe I was honest without being harsh in this post and I even complimented the writer near the end of the post on what I noticed may be her strength. Just because the many publishing options make it so much easier to publish today, and just because you may build a large following should not be an excuse to not produce your best possible work.
I have always been a bit perfectionistic and would never dream of producing less than my best. Also, I believe that I am called to strive for excellence.
6 thoughts on “Where Have the Editors Gone?”
Critique is what helps me learn, grow, and better my writing. When I publish I want to put my best product out there and expect an editor to edit and catch grammatical and spelling errors I’ve made and missed. As a person who’s dyslexic I think it’s highly important that the editor working with me is thorough!
I completely understand and agree, Sue. I hope you will be able to find what you need in an editor. I’m sure there are still good editors out there.
Hey, Kelly, can you please tell me how you added “Blogs I Follow” to your home page? I haven’t been able to figure it out yet.
Yes, Eve, you click on Appearance and then widgets and you should be able to create your “Blogs I Follow” list from there.
Okay, so I wasn’t just imagining it. I TOTALLY get what you’re referring to. While there are clearly plenty of writers who maintain excellence in their books year after year, I recently read a couple of books–both by successful, prolific authors–that were sorely in need of better editing. We’re talking rambling passages, unresolved plot threads, and sometimes just plain bad writing. And these were put out by huge publishers, Simon & Schuster and Penguin. It’s just not right.
Thank you for the comment, Eve, and thank you so much for following my blog now. I agree that there are clearly writers out there who do care to produce their best. I was just trying to point out what I think is a problem in today’s world of literature. I’m glad you understood that. 🙂