Reading, Writing, and Editing

Hope you noticed the Oxford comma in the title. I am a believer in the power of the properly placed comma. I’ve been a contract editor for Dreamspinner Press for almost 7 years now, and it’s been a learning experience. I really love doing it. Helping another writer polish their work might be my true calling. I do wish more people understood the difference between an editor and a proofreader, but that is well beyond my control. Needless to say–it’s not the same thing.

It’s made me a better writer too. Made me very much aware of my own bad habits like repetition and making too many assumptions that my reader knows what the hell I’m talking about. I can blame part of that on my being a research junkie. When I find something that interests me, I dig in. I watch all the documentaries. I read online. I read books. Hell, when I was writing Dead Man’s Hand, I went to the San Diego Maritime Museum to tour the Berkeley, which is the ferry Denver takes from San Francisco to Oakland after the Great San Francisco Earthquake.

But all that editing has made me a much slower and more critical reader. I used to be able to blast through a book a day, which also might be due to all the distractions of our age of technology, but I do think a lot of it is I’m unconsciously picking apart what I’m reading and don’t want to. I really want to just read a book. Slip into someone else’s world and escape, but instead I’m filling my head with what-ifs and how could this have been done better?


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