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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. Matthew was Features Editor, Technical Consultant and regular columnist for magazines such as ‘Fighters’, ‘Combat’, ‘TKD & Korean Martial Arts’ and ‘Traditional Karate’. These are the four leading martial arts magazines in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed 'Practical Taekwondo: Back to the Roots', which has been sold around the world. With regard to his martial arts background he has been studying martial arts since 1991. In 1995 he hosted Professor Rick Clark of the ADK and since then has been studying pressure points and their uses in the martial arts and on the street (initially as a Special Constable and as a Door Supervisor). All of this practical hands-on experience means that he is uniquely placed to write fight scenes that are not only plausible but some of which are based on personal or anecdotal experience. Matthew has had a number of short stories published by Fringe Works, KnightWatch Press, Anderfam Press and Emby Press.


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