Every two weeks we’re sharing tips for editors from the desk of Douglas Gibson. Good for those starting out or old hands who need a reminder, these reminders form an engaging guide for sharp-eyed wordsmiths.
Any time an editor says, “Wow, you should have seen what a mess that manuscript was before I fixed it!” you know quite a lot about that editor. You know, for instance, that he or she has failed to absorb the most basic rule of the profession . . . that you are in the business of invisible mending, and of keeping your role secret. Discretion and modesty are basic editorial requirements, and to boast is to break faith with your author.