This fact—that the reader’s interest and attention is the central, precious thing—is the professional editor’s mantra. Here’s one of my favorite passages from Arthur Plotnik’s wonderful The Elements of Editing:3
An editor’s only permanent alliance is with the audience, the readership. It is the editor’s responsibility to hook that readership; to edify it, entertain it, stroke it, shake it up . . . Authors know their subject. Editors specialize in knowing the audience.
Great writers know what their readers want and need to hear. But the...
Role of an editor
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