Quotes about Editing and editors

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These are quotes tagged with "editing-and-editors".

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A writer is unfair to himself when he is unable to be hard on himself.

I suppose some editors are failed writers; but so are most writers.
Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm.
There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don't see them.
The waste basket is a writer's best friend.
Editor: a person employed by a newspaper, whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed.
Read your own compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.
An editor should tell the author his writing is better than it is. Not a lot better, a little better.
Would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split, and when I interrupt the velvety smoothness of my more or less literate syntax with a few sudden words of bar-room vernacular, that is done with the eyes wide open and the mind relaxed but attentive.
Words and sentences are subject to revision; paragraphs and whole compositions are subjects of prevision.
Editing should be, especially in the case of old writers, a counseling rather than a collaborating task. The tendency of the writer-editor to collaborate is natural, but he should say to himself, How can I help this writer to say it better in his own style? and avoid How can I show him how I would write it, if it were my piece?
Whether the flower looks better in the nosegay than in the meadow where it grew and we had to wet our feet to get it! Is the scholastic air any advantage?
Editing is the same as quarreling with writers -- same thing exactly.
Remember the waterfront shack with the sign FRESH FISH SOLD HERE. Of course it's fresh, we're on the ocean. Of course it's for sale, we're not giving it away. Of course it's here, otherwise the sign would be someplace else. The final sign: FISH.
What I have crossed out I didn't like. What I haven't crossed out I'm dissatisfied with.
If they have a popular thought they have to go into a darkened room and lie down until it passes.
Will you tell me my fault, frankly as to yourself, for I had rather wince, than die. Men do not call the surgeon to commend the bone, but to set it, Sir.
I trust it will not be giving away professional secrets to say that many readers would be surprised, perhaps shocked, at the questions which some newspaper editors will put to a defenseless woman under the guise of flattery.
Art, it seems to me, should simplify finding what conventions of form and what detail one can do without and yet preserve the spirit of the whole -- so that all that one has suppressed and cut away is there to the reader's consciousness as much as if it were in type on the page.
The work was like peeling an onion. The outer skin came off with difficulty... but in no time you'd be down to its innards, tears streaming from your eyes as more and more beautiful reductions became possible.

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