If you give someone a blue pencil and the title of an editor — I promise you that blue pencil will be used to edit and change your work merely because of the title in mind and the pencil in hand.
Editing someone else’s work is a tender task that must put you, as the editor, in the mind of the author. It is not the editor’s job to change the work just because the work can be changed.
As the publisher of Go Inside Magazine and Urban Semiotic and Boles Books — each day I deal with the delicate task of preserving the author’s voice and perspective while making the whole work work better.
The editor’s primary directive is to make the work better and sometimes that means dropping the blue pencil — and its uncanny, innate, instinct to propel you forward with editorial power — and let the work breathe its own life into the world without your direct interference.
The best editors are those that edit with an invisible hand and a steady eye and they are always deferential to the work and a tie forever goes to the author.