we all need editors

23/07/2019 Posted by admin

  

I think editors are wonderful. I think they are better than writers, who often think they are the most wonderful of all. 

 Writers think because they have thought something it must be good, because no one else has thought it. 

 Editors shake their heads and think, heaven help us. 

After the riot I wrote a story that equated what happened to a gang rape of the city. That is a harsh image. What happened was a harsh reality. And metaphorically I saw what happened as  a rape by a gang on a peaceful lady called Vancouver. 

 Then came the editor with another image. What happens to a woman who may have suffered the same brutal attack?  What happens while she is watching the horror of the street on television and thinking about the horror those words bring back to her?  

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  She might say, please don’t cheapen what happened to me by saying smashing cars and stores was the same thing.  Please don’t take the lowest most painful, most unimaginably bad part of my life and use it as a label for someone else’s stupidity. 

   So the editor removed the words, and when the writer thought about it he realized, once again, there is no end to learning about how words can hurt as well as describe.  

  The editor is the news director, Ian Haysom, who is the strongest defender of free speech that I know. He encourages independent thought and expression. But as an editor he knows that expression, no matter how free, cannot be allowed to hurt.  

  As a writer I realize that everyone, in everything, needs an editor, to make sure that compassion is more than just correctly spelled. 

 

Mike 

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