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Editing – It’s nerve wracking!

I’d never thought I’d say this, but editing is truly nerve wracking, far more than I thought it would be.

I’m assuming that, like me, many authors don’t realise that editors have the weight of an author’s hopes and dreams resting on their shoulders. That with a single slash of the pen, or the click of a button, they can take those hopes and dreams, make them kneel in front of them, and blow their brains out. Editor’s desks are metaphorically piled high with their corpses.

As many of you will know, I’ve been editing Raus! Untoten! in what is laughingly referred to as my ‘spare time’.  As a father, author, martial arts instructor, husband, full-time Implementation Support Manager, gamer and hobbyist, I have very little ‘spare time’. The knock-on effect of which is that I slightly overran on being able to make decisions. I was also working through and making comments on all of the submissions, hoping to save time on later edits, as well as giving people feedback as to why I rejected them.

Some submissions were easy to reject. Some were because they hadn’t followed the guidelines i.e. there were no undead, or no recognisable undead. Others were just as ‘easy’ to reject, but were rejected on the basis of the actual writing, which makes the rejection harder, because it was obvious that they had tried their best to write a story that would be accepted.

It’s when it gets down to the stories that are good, but not maybe not as good as others, or which are excellently written but which don’t match the atmosphere created by other stores. The writers are obviously (in my opinion at least), good at their craft. The story itself is entertaining and captivating. But this rejection, depending on the fragility of the author (and some authors seem to be very fragile indeed!) could well see the author give up. 

As you can see, there’s a lot to be considered when being an editor, just at the sorting phase, and I for one will always appreciate the hard work they do in order to get my writing published. Or not. 

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7.


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