#SaystheEditor Flexible

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Author: Susan Helene Gottfried

One in an occasional series

 

Some editors only work in one genre. More power to them, I say. To be able to pull in enough work to sustain a business, and to not get stale. It could be enough to make a girl envious.

Me, though, I love that I am able to work in as  many genres as I read. While each has its own conventions and rules, keeping all the rules in mind — not to mention keeping from getting confused about which manuscript demands what — keeps me on my toes. It’s mental gymnastics, and I love it.

Just the other day, in fact, I finished one  manuscript, the first in a new fantasy series, although it’s more of a political thriller set in a fantasy world, with gods and goddesses and dark practitioners and senators and their children. From there, it was off to the next manuscript… set in Regency England. There’s no worship here, except worship of the heart and men for women and women for men. The language, too, is different: from back alley slang to the stiff, formal speech that marks polite society.

As a reader, I doubt I’d have noticed the differences the way I have to as an editor. On some level, that awareness would have been there, but not the same as when I sit and begin to crawl inside a manuscript.

It’s that attention to detail that can make it hard to switch manuscripts, and why I try to only work on one at a time — and to start on Monday and finish by Friday. So to do it mid-week?

Pure exhilaration.

And a lot of excuses to wander around the kitchen, waiting for my the rest of my brain to catch up with the parts that have already switched genres.

 

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