Be mean to prose and nice to people

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I hate bad prose. (Maybe you’ve noticed.) This affects the way I edit: with inspiration, with passion, instinctively, and relentlessly. All prose has flaws — I find them and critique them mercilessly. I can’t help it. And weirdly, people seem to like it. When a writer sends me something inadequate, I tear it apart. I delete … Continued

What to tell an editor

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You’ve completed a draft and you’d like a review. This is your chance to tell the editor clearly what you need. Or, you could start with excuses. It’s your choice. When you turn over a draft for editing, there’s always stuff that you worry is weak or wrong. Resist the urge to hide your weaknesses. This is … Continued

Applying “Games People Play” to writers and editors

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In the 1964 bestseller “Games People Play,” Eric Berne showed how transactional analysis (TA) explains emotional conflict. In TA, people interact in one of three roles: parent, adult, or child; when roles get confused, people get upset. These same kinds of conflicts occur, for similar reasons, when writers and editors aren’t clear about the roles they’re playing. Here’s the briefest possible explanation … Continued