to be an editor.
I was just emailed by another author who was having difficulties with her editor on her next book. Okay, first off, let me be the first to say that I have severe allergies when it comes to editors. I used to have the Editor from Hell who didn't so much correct my grammatical mistakes, or find those loose threads still dangling in the breeze (uuh, Linda, if she's talking to him in the kitchen, how does she "shift the car into gear" in the next paragraph and drive away? Is the car parked next to the stove?) as she did telling me why my fantasy was a piece of crap. At the time she was my ONLY editor, so I had no inkling that that's not the way things were normally done. Okay, I know better now. :D
But the majority of editors want three things from you: a readable story, a sell-able book, and a solid reputation for the writer and pub. Nothing turns a reader off more than bad grammar or missed words, or wrong words (they're for there or their, etc.) -- it makes the PUBLISHER look bad, not as much as the author.
Plus, if the story is a joke (in a bad way), readers are reluctant to buy another book from that writer, and maybe even that publisher.
But, in the long run, the end product DOES look and read so much better and cleaner. It's a shame the editors have to be subjected to some irate authors who believe their works shouldn't be messed with.
Hats off to you, editors! Yeah, I may BMW to my hubby whenever I see a sea of red on my manuscript, but as Jim is fond of saying, "Step away from it and look at it from the reader's perspective. It may make sense to YOU, but if the editor can't make heads or tails from it, how can the reader?"
And if it wasn't a decent story to begin with, the publisher wouldn't spend an ounce of energy on it to publish it.