Monday, July 9, 2012

They're just lazy editors

I've worked with copy editors who had a pat way of editing a story. They'd look for a little chunk of the story, perhaps an anecdote, that they could cut out.

Editors have done that to me many times. At least once, an editor cut out the reason for me writing the story! Another time that I recall, a different editor cut out the best anecdote in my story. In both cases, the stories were watered-down, weakened because of the editing.

Recently, an editor cut out three sentences from a quote to shorten the story. He'd have been better off just paraphrasing the quote. If I'd known he was going to do that, I'd have paraphrased the darn thing, since he cut out the best sentence in the whole story.

Other times, editors have end-cut my stories. And, often, they were leaving out the best part. And there's the editor who took the first name on a profile, a coach's name, and posted it online in the coach's name; the story was about a player, not the coach.

Lazy, lazy, lazy.

It did, however, teach me to put all of the good stuff in the first few paragraphs of the story, if possible. And I make sure the first name the editor sees is the one the story is written about.

CONTACT: I can be reached at or Also, my Twitter handle is EDITORatWORK.

Entries from The Dog Blog
Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)

More blog entries by Tom Gillispie

Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie

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