Hear the latest buzz? Jane Austen had an editor. Shock! It seems lots of readers thought her prose flowed perfectly from her pen (or pencil). But if the researchers are right, Jane didn’t remember the old “i before e” rule. Or lots of others. Scandalous!
The NPR article in the link above is a reminder that a book is best when it’s a collaboration. True, nowadays, writers are expected to turn in a near-perfect manuscript, because editors have very little time to whip it into shape. They have a ton of other jobs. I’m amazed that my editor is able to juggle all the tasks she has going. She has amazing patience with my questions and critiques. And my line editor is a gem. She’d shape up Jane Austen’s manuscript. And probably enjoy it, too. A good editor is worth his or her weight in printer paper.