Friday, January 28, 2011

An Ode to Editors

The Panda eats shoots and leaves.

The Panda eats, shoots and leaves.

As I develop, as a writer, I continue to be amazed by how something as tiny as a comma can change everything. You go from a pleasant herbivore, munching away at greenery, to an image of a gun toting "furry" spraying bullets at random to avoid paying his dinner bill.  The power of the comma is up there with the "for want of a nail, the kingdom was lost". I've heard apocryphal stories that such missing or over used commas have turned legal documents on their ears, utterly changing the meanings (much to the chagrin and cost of the creator).

And that is why I can't think of a better way to start a blog on my adventures in writing and freelance game development. I dedicate this blog to the Editors of the world. They are the true craftsmen of publishing.  As any good writer, I have the ego to "know" I have great ideas, awesome plot twists, the perfect character, etc. As a "young" writer I have also learned that my great ideas do not always come out the way I intended. Editors take our work and apply the old Dad adage "Write what I mean, not what I said." I swear Editors have to be part telepathic at times, just to take what we mean and turn it into something other folks will understand.

So we writers can never be grateful enough to the editors of the world. They are the Babel Fish translators to our mad rambling and they all too often do not get the credit they so justly deserve. 
And when you editor is also your publisher, or developer (for those of us who write for games), then you've got to wonder what kind of saint they are at times. They have their own work to do, and yet they will help your work and then let you do it all over again.

If there are practical tips out this, the two I would have to advocate are:
1- Say thank you, often. Don't ever take your editor for granted. Even if you pay them to do the work, thank them for putting up with your writing.
2- Get better! There are millions of resources, from free to ungodly, for getting better at your craft. Work on getting better, never assume you are good enough. For you audio minded folks, head to Quick and Dirty Tips and check our Grammar Girl. She's also got a very easy to read book of practical tips.

Until next time,
Writer, Explorer, Learner

PS- I am flying without a net. I didn't pester any of the fine editors I know, to check this over. I did re-read it, twice, but I'm sure you'll find errors.


  1. Welcome to the blogosphere. Eat, shoots and leaves is brilliant. Funny too.

  2. Sounds like you're approaching your craft with an attitude of humility and gratitude. I think that's the perfect mindset for a solid career, and a successful life.

    Go get 'em.