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Author of queer, wry sci fi/fantasy books. On Amazon.
Editor of all fiction genres.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

How to Act Like An Editor--A Brief List (Part 3)

Hello hello!

So *blows dust from blog again* I've returned with yet another post about the world of writing--and in this one, I'm tackling my own special breed--editors.

In the event that you find yourself impersonating an editor, I have compiled a few handy tips to ensure that the deception is perfection itself.

How to Act Like An Editor

1. Frighten other writers. When you walk through a crowd, a cold shiver should run down the spine of every writer present. Doing a "murder walk" helps, but generally, people should just know that you are coming, and that you are a barely contained force of nature. 

2. Wear slightly tidier clothing than the writers--though you needn't be less weird. Red spots, ashes/cremains, and flecks of ink are allowed, as are the fingernails of the last client who pissed you off--but those last ones make better earrings, generally.

3. Alcohol and caffeine are no longer food groups--they run in your very veins. You have become the caffeine and alcohol. You bleed them, breathe them, emit them in a fragrant cloud. 

4. A cold, haughty laugh and thousand-yard-stare are a must. "I've seen things," you should murmur to yourself, whenever the topic of your work comes up. "I've seen things you cannot fathom. Are you frightened? You should be frightened."

5. Being more aggressive, blunt, and experienced than other writers is also important. Basically, you are the shit--but you don't need to advertise it quite as much as the bestsellers. When people walk into a room with you, they'll just know. 

6. Elucidate your issues with various style guides at length, even when other people have stopped listening and just want to beat you to death with the Chicago Manual of Style. 

7. Don't nitpick poor grammar on Facebook--leave the amateur grammar Nazis to do that. Save your bile for bloggers and news articles, and complain mercilessly about typos in bestsellers--but only in private. 

8. Be a hunter, not a scavenger--don't stalk authors on social media and threaten them with crappy reviews for missing a comma on page 81 of the Kindle edition, and repeating a period on page 275.

9. Let your writing career slide, because oops, work is important.

10. Be extremely forgiving with authors and writers at all levels--after all, it takes time to get this crap down, and everyone was a beginner once. Actually snobbishness has no place in the writing world. Every author deserves a second chance, and often, a third.

11. Write love letters to every punctuation mark and obsess over the effect of sentence structure on phrasing and emphasis. You alone understand how beautiful semicolons and Oxford commas and em dashes are. But that won't stop you from telling everyone else anyway.

12. No matter how many bad ones you read, never stop loving books. 

Next time--we'll return to our regularly scheduled programming of thoughtful, intellectual blog posts. Stay tuned!

Thanks for dropping by the nest once again. Leave your comments, rebuttals, and vehement agreements below. Don't miss any of the phuquerie--get on the mailing list. Find Michelle on TwitterFacebook, and on Tumblr, and find her work on Amazon. Check back on the blog to see when one of the irregular posts has careened onto your feed. This is the one and only SciFiMagpie, over and out! 


  1. Fingernails of clients who've annoyed you? You wouldn't happen to have a few of those lying around, would you, Michelle? :P

  2. Nah, I prefer using the actual fingers.

    *death stare*


As always, be excellent unto others, and don't be a dick.