I got some good feedback on the previous post from writers who appreciated the insight into the editing process. Heck, even I got a lot out of writing the post, because it allowed me to set down in writing a lot of vague thoughts that I had about what worked and what didn’t. That’s one of the big reasons I write as much as I do, a sort of “how can I tell what I think till I see what I say” thing, if we go by E. M. Forster’s words. It’s part of why I’m so keen on non-fiction. I love writing fiction because it shows others new stories, but I love writing non-fiction because I learn as much about myself writing the piece as my readers do about the topic reading it.
Anyway, all that to say, I liked having the chance to write that, and I want to keep writing stuff like that as I work with Arcana as my first anthology.
I’ve edited a lot before. Working with [adjective][species] was fairly straight forward in that I left the call open and edited submissions as I got them. It was simple, but still involved a lot of the editorial motions. My criteria for articles there was that it had a point, expressed it clearly, and was readable. Minor edits were usually okay, and major ones could be requested of the author.
Editing an anthology, however, feels vastly different. It’s not just the competition aspect — though that’s a big part of it — so much as the fact that it’s a singular, rather than ongoing, process. It begins when submissions are received and ends when the final, edited choices are handed off to the publisher to work legal, layout, and printing magic.
Still, I have a good idea of all the steps ahead of me and quite a few guiding hands, which will be quite helpful! Also, as above, I’m hoping that writing this helps me figure things out a little.
The difference between beta and editing