Most people call my craft “journalism”, but, for me, that just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “editor” does. Editors get a bad rap, but I just love fixing other people’s mistakes and guiding writers to journalistic perfection. I’m not saying I’m perfect, but I love the challenge.
Being an editor for Drake Mag for the past two years has taught me about editing, writing and communication. Here are a few tips about some of the things I, as an editor, feel that a Drake Mag writer should know:
- Be clever. We are huge fans of puns and clever jokes. If you don’t insert them, we will.
- Get all the information about your topic before you start writing. This sounds like a no-brainer, I know, but you’d be surprised to know how often we have writers call their sources again after the first or second drafts.
- Only talk to experts as sources. There are obvious exceptions, but for the most part we do not care what Sally McNally has to say about anything.
- Try not to make obvious grammatical errors such as misusing their, they’re and there. It unfortunately really reduces your credibility as a writer.
- Last, but not least, get started on your story right away. The sooner you start, the more time you have to organize it, the cleaner it will be and the less we will have to change. I had a writer this year email me with a rough draft and literally 10 questions the day after she was assigned her story and I think she will be very happy with how it turns out when it’s published.