Arthur Plotnik’s “The Elements of Editing”

Serious writers and all the authors I know know Strunk&White’s “The Elements of Style,” aka The Little Book. I mention in Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” I have several copies and all are near my workstations so I’ll be no further than a click or arm’s reach should I need, and I need often enough they are a click or arm’s reach away and no further.

Few authors and no writers I know know Arthur Plotnik’s The Elements of Editing and, while not what I’d call required reading, it is definitely useful reading.

Plotnik’s The Elements of Editing is about the jobs of editors on the publishing end. This book will not help you edit your own work (at least not much. I did find some useful information in it, but I’m just that way. I’ll find useful things everywhere. It’s a developed trait and strongly recommended).

It will help writers and authors better understand what editors do and why some editors reject your work with a form letter and others write a glowing acceptance and ask for more (this has happened to me many times. Example: I wrote Morningsong in 1987 and nobody wanted it for over thirty years. I submitted it to Harvey Duckman and they asked me to become a regular contributor). It will help writers and authors get a feel for an editor’s day and what’s required to put out a regular magazine, journal, anthology, newspaper, book, and basically any form of regular media.

Most importantly, it’ll help authors and writers recognize a good editor from a bad editor (not to mention recognizing the unhandiwork of a machine editor. Avoid them in publishing).

Here’s some of the gems I found in an afternoon’s read:

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