I had this idea the other day. To read like an editor. If editors work with writers to help their stories and ideas work out, they should have developed this capacity of reading manuscripts and drafts critically and analytically and transform them into what we get when we buy the book.
They look for flaws and ways to improve the writer’s work. Good editors respect and understand the writer’s style, but they also help the writer make sense of their style.
Reading like an editor after the book is published and when a real editor has done their job is an interesting exercise and a pretty good way to learn.
We start thinking about why the book works or doesn’t and what we would do differently.
In other words, when we read a book like an editor, we don’t just read it passively. We study the writer’s style and the editor’s choices together. We learn how to write a book, and we understand why we hate or love a story or an idea.
In the end, we start understanding our editor’s mind, which improves the way we read and obviously the way we write.
Do you agree?
Now, between the lines…
What do you think it means to read like an editor?