Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tell me a story...

Hi everyone, I'm a content editor here at MuseItUp Publishing. It’s my favorite job, next to writing. Don’t tell anyone, but I am a ‘constant’ editor as well. I mentally edit everything from books to newspapers to sales tags, really. It’s a habit, or an obsession, I suppose.

Content editing is sort of like ice sculpting. The writer sculpts the ice block and then I come along with my little ice pick and chisel out a detail here and there for them so I can see the shape more. In order to do my job, I have to be able to see the image in the ice, I have to see their story.

When a book is submitted to MuseItUp the first thing I look for is story line. This is where the synopsis comes in handy, to tell me what the story is about. The first several chapters tell me where the writer is in the writing process. Are the characters developed? Does the story carry? Does the message ring true? Is the writer communicating flavor?

When telling a story, you have to have a bit of the blarney going on. You have to weave it and make it live. It is entertainment and sometimes education. A good story will make me laugh and cry but it may also give me a way of understanding life that I might not have seen before. I remember leaving the movie theater with my children after they twisted my arm to see The Lion King. I walked out of there holding my head high, because the story about animated lions told me I can succeed no matter what and my pride is waiting for me to take my place in their lives.

I want to feel a story, I want it to become kinetic and jump off the page. If I can’t get it or care about it the first few chapters in, I stop reading. But, if the writer gives me something to tell me their work is worth reading because it happened like so, or the people were like this and that matters because…then I’m a goner. I want to, no, have to, see what the rest is all about.

So…tell me a story, make me believe!

Karen McGrath

6 comments:

Annie said...

Just lovely Karen. It's wonderful to be able to communicate your passion for editing so vividly. It's a story in itself.

Kaye Manro said...

It's always fun to see inside an editor's head! Thanks Karen.

MuseItUp Publishing said...

Karen is one hundred percent right about getting a reader or editor to 'feel' the story. Once a writer connects reader to character then the reader cares enough to follow their story.

Nice post, Karen.

Cheryl said...

Wonderful post, Karen. Your passion definitely shines through.

Cheryl

Susanne Drazic said...

Great post Karen.

Paul and Karen said...

Thanks for stopping in everyone. This is a dream job, this and writing. Inside an editor's head are also the home to-do list, the laundry and sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with just the right sentence for that last book, LOL! Glad there is a job for it. ;)