Creators vs. Perfectors

The importance of manuscript editors

All word artists are not born equal. Some people are creative. Very often creative people do not have too much love for commas and full stops. In many cases, they simply do not care about them.

You do; however, get people who have turned accuracy into a creative skill. The world in which we live has a place for both the creators and the perfectors. If you are opening a dictionary right now to see if that is in fact a word, you are probably one of them.

The great writers of this world are the creators. A creator wanders off in a word of his or her own. This is good. It is part of the job description of a creator.

Without them, the world would be poorer. However, to make a creation a masterpiece in the literary world, you need the perfectors. A true masterpiece has to be 100% accurate. It is not just about dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s; the language has to be perfect as well.

To ensure this is no easy task and it is the job of the manuscript editor. There are many companies offering these services and writers will be well advised to use their services.

The author will get the credit, the praise, and the glamour. The manuscript editor; however, is as much a part of the process of creating a masterpiece as the writer.

What does it take to become a really good manuscript editor? First of all, it takes a very sound knowledge of the language. You have to know what is right and what is wrong. Your spelling must be impeccable. Your sentence construction must be honed down to a fine art. A language degree will definitely help. So will a love of reading.

Here is the bad news. That is not enough. You must be born a perfectionist. When you see a spelling mistake you must also see red. If an expression is used in the wrong context, your first instinct must be to rant and rave, scream and shout. To summarize, the perfect manuscript editor is someone who has perfected the art of being a perfectionist.

We have covered the masterpiece. Most books out there are not masterpieces. They are often full of mistakes or less than perfectly written. That is why manuscript editors never work alone. A lot of discussion and rewriting often goes into the process of editing manuscripts. Manuscript editors therefore must also be able to work as a team. The writer is also a part of that team. As a manuscript editor, you will have to communicate with the writer. Therefore, great communication skills are also very important. While they seem to work in the background, without the manuscript editor, that best-seller may not be on the shelves.

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