Category Archives: editor-author relationship

The Best and the Worst of Edits: Diane Schoemperlen on the editing of her memoir, This Is Not My Life

Diane Schoemperlen, the author of a dozen novels and short story collections, thought that writing a memoir would be easy. After all, she had the makings of a great story – a fraught relationship with an inmate convicted of second-degree murder – at her fingertips. What could be so hard about typing it into the […]
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The Ethics of Truth-Telling

Writers of creative nonfiction have widely different views on how much they can make up and still call their work “nonfiction.” Investigative journalists, for instance, believe that it’s fine to use the techniques of fiction — characterization, dialogue, sensory description, and such — as long as they stay true to the facts. But for writers […]
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An “Exemplary” Author-Editor Relationship

Good Prose is not at all like other style books. It reads like a story. It has all the ingredients of good nonfiction – point of view, voice, characters, dialogue, setting, metaphor, irony, and hum our. The story is about the relationship between Tracy Kidder, a writer of nonfiction books and feature articles, and his editor […]
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Truth and Trust: Editing Memoir

“In memoir, the author stands behind her story saying to the world: this happened; this is true. What is important about this assertion is that it has an effect on the reader.” —Judith Barrington, Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art Judith Barrington’s Writing the Memoir has sold over 100,000 copies; it’s the number one […]
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Working with the Author, for the Reader

To copyedit is to confront and solve an endless series of problems, great and small. — Carol Fisher Saller Q / What could possibly be subversive about copy editors? Aren’t copy editors pinched-nosed mousy types with bifocals and buttoned-up blouses? Carol Fisher Saller, author of The Subversive Copy Editor (University of Chicago Press, 2009), thinks […]
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A Handbook Worth Having at Hand

There is a glut of books on the market about how to write fiction, but only a handful on editing fiction. There are a gazillion books on how to fix the mechanics of language, but few on the more creative work of structural editing. Barbara Sjoholm’s handbook, An Editor’s Guide to Working with Authors (Rainforest […]
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