KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf
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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Confessions of a Slut

I have a secret: I've just ended an affair, and I'm feeling blue.

No, I've not been unfaithful to my husband. I just finished editing a book today, and I miss it. I miss the sensuous caress of its prose, the voluptuous images it conjured in my mind. Its rhythms were by turns soothing and shocking, both reaffirming what I already knew and stunning me with unexpected information.

And this was a manuscript about global warming—not a bodice-ripper—written by a scientist who can write. Yes, I know—most scientists who do research can write, because they have to, but they're following a formula and merely communicating information. Their prose doesn't excite the reader, even if what they've discovered is amazing. I wish they'd learn that it's possible to follow a formula, report research neutrally, and yet mesmerize a reader. It's all in how the words are put together. The author I'm talking about can really write, as in make me beg for more of his luscious words.

I returned the edited manuscript to the publisher at midday and planned to start on other projects. I always plan to do that. But when the writing's that delicious, I can't bring myself to mentally leave it. I am bereft. I must mourn my loss. I may never have the chance to edit this author's work again, though I will dream of it. It all depends on whether he writes another book (he's written several) and, if he does, whether his publisher seeks me out to polish it. I'll be a teenage girl again, sitting by the phone, willing a certain teenage boy to call me.

There'll be a few rebound affairs, with mediocre manuscripts that somehow just don't move me, and I'll tell myself it's for the best when we break up. Then when I'm least expecting it, a new romance will come along, another author who knocks my reading socks off. And a new affair will begin ...

I am a book slut.



4 comments:

Amy J. Schneider said...

I had one of those once. It was a thriller, second in a series. The author liked my work so much that he asked for me on the third book. Thanked me in his acknowledgments both times. He's written the fourth book, but alas, he does not seem to have found a publisher; apparently my client passed on it. Too bad; I really got into the characters and it was one of very few fiction works I've edited that I would read on my own time!

*sob* It's over . . .

Imperatrix said...

Actually, considering my projects are mostly articles for journals, that's more of a one-night stand and *I'm* the slut ;-)

But, it is better to have loved, and lost, than never to have loved at all!

(I always take the rest of the day off when I finish a particularly good project. Or a particularly bad one, too, come to think of it.)

Katharine said...

Readers, consider this comment section Sluts "R" Us, where editors trip over each other in eagerness to get their next read. ;-)

KathyF said...

That's a great description of good writing.

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