Dr. Oscar John Ma has had many surprising jobs throughout his career, including sportswriter and even an editor. During this last job, he realized how much work these professionals do and the benefits they provide a skilled writer. Even if you think you’re the next J.K. Rowling and believe your work is genius, he strongly suggests seeking an editor to get high-quality help.
Dr. Oscar John Ma Examines the Role of an Editor
While working as an editor, Dr. O John Ma had the chance to edit many manuscripts and learned much about how authors work. This fascinating experience taught him that writing and editing is a mutually beneficial situation that helps writers present their work in the best fashion. Without an editor, even instantly successful writers like Stephen King would likely to struggle to produce great work.
That’s because an editor can finely sculpt a writer’s work and make it even more effective. Today’s modern reader wants a quick, easy-to-read, and active style that many writers may struggle to achieve. Editors can help streamline unnecessary words, make writing enjoyable, and make it easier for writers to sell their manuscripts. That’s a massive boon for writers still fighting to enter the market.
Importantly, editors can identify confusing sentences or sections and help writers clarify these spots. For example, Dr. Oscar John Ma found many writers often had a very specific idea of what they wanted to say and thought that they had successfully argued their point. Unfortunately, they were often entirely wrong and discovered that their clear argument was difficult to understand.
Editors can also help writers discover their voices in many ways. For example, legendary minimalist writer Raymond Carver had a fantastic editor who helped trim his simple prose into harder edges. The same thing happened with editor Ezra Pound and writer T. S. Eliot. Pound helped Eliot shape his now legendary poem “The Wasteland” into the form for which it has been celebrated. Such editor and writer relationships are far too numerous to list here.
For these reasons, Dr. Ma suggests every writer serious about their craft find an editor worth their time. The best way to identify an editor is to buy writing magazines and send your portfolio to editors on their printed list. These experts will help you identify a high-quality professional who understands your needs and is willing to work with you on your manuscript and help you find an audience for your writing.
Many editors narrow their field down to specific genres, much like writers. For example, Dr. O John Ma says sending your sci-fi book to someone who works primarily in non-fiction is a bad idea. That editor may not fully understand that type of work or simply dislike working in that field. Those rejections can devastate a writer’s fragile ego, so being careful about who you submit to is a critical way of avoiding any emotional troubles while submitting your work repeatedly.