What Makes a Good Editor?


In a conversation for the Slate Book Review, author Donna Tartt and her editor Michael Pietsch talk through the experience of editing her latest novel from both sides of the red pen.

It’s a fascinating insight into the near-magical possibilities of good editing—and what separates it from bad editing. For example, here’s this from Tartt:

There’s nothing like having a sympathetic reader who asks the right questions, who understands what you’re trying to achieve and only wants to make it better. The best fixes are seamless—solutions that are in plain sight but you haven’t seen yourself, that someone else has to point out to you.

(Image via.)

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →