July 6, 2008

WRITING ADVICE: The Divine Work of the Editor

Hebrews 12:2 says, “…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

God is the author (“the person who originates or gives existence to anything” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Author) of our faith (“to trust; to commit oneself to act based on self experience to warrant belief, but without absolute proof” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faith). He wrote our faith – our story. After Adam and Eve sinned, our faith, the story, was screwed up. God sent Jesus into the world to…edit…the story. Jesus came to save the story. We are the story and He is the Perfect Son. God created faith and Jesus is editing it to make it back into the perfect story.

As an author, I’ve created more than 400 manuscripts of various sorts from three line nature haiku to a 500-page hard science fiction novel. Once I’m done writing, I have to edit until it’s either ready to send out or I put it back in the drawer and leave it. As an author, I create; as an editor, I take on a “divine work” and try to make the story the best it can be. My intent is to write a story to share with others then edit the story so that it is good enough to send out into the world and share with readers.

The editor (“responsible for overall content of the paper, makes sure everything runs to plan and has the final say on what appears in the paper”image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2006/07/10/Resourcesforschools.doc) of a magazine or a publishing company takes up that “divine work” – they follow in the tread of Jesus, so to speak. They take on the responsibility to edit the work until it’s as perfect as it can be so that when it sees publication, it does what the author and editor intended it to do: make a difference in the world.

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