Before going over to writing full time, I used to be an editor. This had its uses besides paying the bills: I got to see what it’s like on the other side of the fence. If you’re trying to get published, having worked as an editor is no guarantee, but it does help in your approach if you have some understanding of the editor’s mindset. So, what’s it like doing both? Well, primarily you learn that the word ‘please’ goes a surprisingly long way – simple, but true. You also get to see applications from other writers. Lots of them. Lots and lots. As a result, you pick up certain habits of thought, because you tend to see the same things repeatedly. Hence, for anyone looking for advice on how to approach a publisher, I produce for your entertainment the following:
The Publisher-Dating Dictionary
This began its life in odd moments at work when I was going through the applications, and continued from there. NB – probably not worth reading if you’re just starting out writing or are feeling unconfident, as it’s a guide to what editors are really thinking when they’re in a bad mood, but for anyone writing a covering letter with their submission – or for anyone who’s had a bad editing day themselves . . .
Also, reading lots of books both at work and at home led me to notice certain things that crop up repeatedly in books – my own included, quite possibly. Being a big fan of the Turkey City Lexicon, I have whiled away odd moments by proposing some additional terms of my own in an act of fairly open homage. As I’ve edited a fairly wide variety of stuff and read along similar lines, not all of these are applicable to sci-fi, which is the Turkey City Lexicon’s main field; they range across the genres. So, click here to link to Kit’s Lexicon. And for anyone who’s interested, the Turkey City Lexicon is highly recommended.