There is a big question out there of what, exactly, and editor does, and what makes a good one. This is especially true when people are, say, considering who to vote for in the Best Editor, Long Form category in the Hugos– a category that my editor, Sheila Gilbert, is nominated for.
So, just this week I had a long conversation with Sheila, mostly about my draft for The Imposters of Aventil. This book is the third Thorn book, and it’s also the midpoint in what I’ll call “Phase I” of my over all Maradaine plan. It’s the first book where the integrated elements of the various Maradaine series show come into play.
So Sheila has to walk something of a balance act in helping me with the development. She has to be able to fundamentally get what I’m doing and what I want to accomplish, while at the same time maintain enough outsider perspective to see if the pieces I’m placing make sense and I’m not just in my head. She pulls at the loose threads and asks me what I’m going to do with those. She keeps me on the big picture and on the details.
Which, for a book like Imposters, which is the biggest thing I’ve done so far, in many ways, is so crucial.
(Don’t worry– it’s longer than the other books, but it’s FAR from a doorstopper.)
Without that kind of editing, I wouldn’t be able to do everything I want to do.
So now, I have to get back to doing it. These books don’t write themselves. (Or re-write. Or edit. Or proof.)