SHOOTING THE BREEZE
By Eric C. Forbes
IT IS IMPERATIVE that writers learn to revise and self-edit their typescripts before sending them off to editors or publishers for consideration. Most writers tend to send their typescripts without polishing them up, hoping that their editors will clean everything up for them once they are accepted for publication. The fact is, most editors will just ignore the manuscript and go on to the next one.
There really is no one way to write a book. Or even to edit one, for that matter! Honestly, after being an editor for so many years, I still find the task of editing a manuscript monumental and nerve-wracking. In fact, most of the time, it is a task fraught with trauma and hair-pulling (not that I have much of it left anyway)!
Editing can be a very traumatic experience, but when both writer and editor work well together, the end product is something to behold. Lydia Teh, the author of Life’s Like That (2004) and Honk! If You’re Malaysian (2007), is one Malaysian writer who believes in and is not afraid of rewriting and revising; she is a joy to work with because she is really passionate about her work. She’s is indeed God’s gift to editors! Other passionate authors include Lee Su Kim, Adibah Amin, Tunku Halim and Xeus. They are always willing to go the extra mile to get the details right.
When typescripts or manuscripts are badly written, I would advise writers to rewrite them because it is too time-consuming and expensive an affair to have them edited and to be re-submitted for reconsideration at a later date.
I do wish things would improve. Most of the manuscripts I receive are not only badly written but lack content or substance; there’s not much in the way of depth or breadth or width in the writing. It’s rare that I receive one that I can sink my teeth into.