Sometimes you bite the bullet… sometimes the bullet bites- choice words for your editor.

13 02 2011

Getting edited. Man, oh man, the things I want to say about getting edited. The are:

1. Grow up

2. Don’t be such a baby

3. You should consider yourself lucky anyone is reading your shit closely enough to even have an opinion in the first place

4. No, really, you have like sixteen-thousand pages of unsold, unread, unloved stories so you’d best just shut up and enjoy your brief brush with success.

That being said, there are things to look out for with your editor. Actually, there is one thing to look out for: do you like the product? Did you submit to the magazine blindly and have no idea what they’re pushing, or are you an informed submitter that knows that the editor that is asking you to cut three paragraphs doesn’t put out shit?

So I got a mark up of the story that is going into the Zombie Feed Antho and it had the usual attention of a careful editor. I agreed with almost all, but I went along with every single one. The reason: Jason Sizemore puts out great stories and I trust him. That’s it. I trust his editorial opinion and I trust it more than I trust my own final judgement. If you’ve read much of Apex’s output, you know the stories are always topflight, and knowing that I chose to let him do his job. As any good editor will do, he gave me the caveat of self defense. “If you disagree- have a good reason,” goes the line. Usually I agree, but I always trust. I had a bad experience- a breech of contract get your amateur hands off my story, type bad experience. I don’t send my work to markets I haven’t read anymore.

I’m not saying you should just cave to every suggestion an editor makes, but if you like what that editor puts out then you should probably approach difficult to swallow changes with a dialog and an open mind.

So not much else to say here. I’m working on an article for a thing that I will plug here soon enough (though it does involve Mr. Sizemore and Zombies). I’ve got some big stories brewing as well- a simulated plague that teaches its operators that half the horror of illness is the threat of illness, a religious conservative that realizes that religion will never survive modernity if it can’t be effectively monetized. Well, those are the drafts anyways.

That the buh u buhbubuh.

Andrew Clark Porter




One response

15 02 2011
Scott W. Baker

I suspect that some requested cuts are simply evidence that the editor doesn’t understand the value of a given section. One option would be to cut the section. Another might be to clarify the value. Not saying this is the case here, but an editor realizing something is off doesn’t mean their solution is the only solution.

But congratz on the sale. Jason Sizemore does seem like someone I’d like to work with sometime soon. I haven’t quite made it through the Apex Mag gates yet. 😦

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