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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Editor (05/27/10)

TITLE: Doggerel Quartet
By Steve Fitschen


Well, I must confess that my attitude towards editors has changed over the years. I had such little use for them early on. And I’m sure you can guess the reason: I “knew” how good my writing was. Yeah, right! Why did editors always obsess on grammar and punctuation? And who did they think they were to tell me that the flow didn’t work or that the dialog seemed forced or that I had a point of view shift. And then they thought they could override my word choice whenever they wanted. But worst of all—they “dared” to make major cuts.

But it didn’t take long—well, not too long—for my attitude to change. And now that I have reached the “winter” of my publishing career, now that I have a few publishing successes under my belt; I can even find an outlet for doggerel like this. So with profound appreciation (and in some cases, profound apologies) I present the following quartet of songs, marking the “seasons” of my attitudes toward my various editors: from resenting them to overly relying on them (a.k.a. phoning it in) to working with them as a real team to being genuinely grateful for them.

Writing a New Book (sung to the tune of Singing in the Rain)

I’m writing a new book,
Just writing a new book.
And I’m God’s gift to writing;
I’m ever so good.
My parents announced
The day I was born,
“A baby writer
Today has been born.”
No editor, you see,
Could be needed by me.
Just take a quick look—
I know you will agree.
No big deal for me,
As natural as can be:
Just writing,
Writing a new book

Give My Book to an Editor (sung to the tune of Take Me Out to the Ball Game)

Give my book to an editor,
Give my book to the doc.
Maybe he can find a fix for it.
Something’s wrong—which I hate to admit.
Let him chop, chop, chop all the bad spots,
He’ll make it “sing” if he can.
After one, two, three drafts, it’s off
To the ed-i-tor.

Over the Story and Through the Plot (sung to the tune of Over the River and Through the Woods)

Over the story and through the plot,
The editor and I do go;
Together’s the way
To decide what’ll stay,
What gets tweaked and what must go, oh!
Over the story and through the plot,
We’re a team now, I know!
The point of view,
Is solid all through,
As over the book we go.

Over the story and through the plot,
The dialog rings true to me.
But her ear is true—
With a fix or two
Characters are really set free-ee!
Over the story and through the plot,
All the scenes that you can see:
Twilight and dawn,
And big green lawn!
Thanks to editor and me.

O Editor (sung to the tune of O Christmas Tree)

O Editor, O Editor,
How lovely is your red pen.
Not only when it likes my work,
But e’en when it makes me beserk
O Editor, O Editor
How lovely is your red pen.

O Editor, O Editor,
You invest yourself in me,
Yet no one even knows your name.
You only get vicarious fame.
O Editor, O Editor
You invest yourself in me.

O Editor, O Editor,
I owe such a lot to you,
You fix my errors, every one.
Without your fixes I’d be done.
O Editor, O Editor
I owe such a lot to you.

And so, to all my editors—both those still tormenting authors and those who have gone on to that great publishing house in the sky—my most sincere thanks. And to my current editor, I hope I didn’t spoil you by showing up in winter. But then again, you have those three new first time authors to handle. Have fun with that.

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This article has been read 419 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Philippa Geaney 06/03/10
I enjoyed that! Great fun and real progress was evident.
We humans certainly have the same choices of reactions -dealing with them out at individual stages making us ??individual.
Maria Egilsson06/04/10
How creative this was. It was a really good read. Very well done.
Susan Montaperto06/08/10
I very much enjoyed your "Seasons of Editors" songs, especially because they showed a progression and learning through various stages of your writing life.
Thank you for this very amusing and teaching read.
Rachel Phelps06/09/10
Great creativity here! Awesome songs.