Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Editor Is Always Right

Here's a funny article over at Storytellers Unplugged: Submit--Or The Editor Is Always Right. An excerpt:

Papal infallibility? Maybe so, maybe no, but if you are a beginning or journey(wo)man writer … The editor is always right. If the editor says, “We would like to publish your story but you have to change your protagonist, a circus midget who likes plaid, into a blind, African-American who plays center for the world’s only visually impaired touring-Patagonian basketball team,” you do it. You don’t go running to tell your big brother, recently released from the asylum, about the philistine editor who …

You’d be surprised how many editors wound up becoming editors because they know something about writing. They view their job, in part, as educational–and they can teach you.

Way back machine, to when I’d only been writing and publishing, say, for a little over a decade. In 1977, James R. Pack, then editing The New Infinity Review, called me to say he wanted to drop the last line from my short story “Henderson’s Place.” I was proud of that last line. I thought it a last line that had a rightful slot in the Guiness Book Of Marvelously Memorable Last Lines.

So I told James R. Pack, “Okay.”

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