Lesley, in her last post, asked me to reveal why I’m called “the slasher.” It is not a name I made up for myself, but rather one that was bestowed upon me by my fellow editors. I like to pretend it is a term of endearment. After all, it does NOT have anything to do with a knife or other sharp object (well, maybe a red pen . . .).
At Electric Spec, we love to get submissions that are as polished as the authors can get them, but we don’t reject a story just because it needs more polishing before it is ready for publication. Every story we pick needs some editing, but some need more than others. One of the more common problems we see even with stories that we love is that the story is not as focused as it could be. In other words, the story loses some of its punch because it includes details, actions, or even entire scenes and characters that serve little or no purpose. Other times, five words are chosen when two can do the same job, which drags down the pace. When it comes to editing a story, I am not shy about cutting (or, as some would call it, slashing) words to make a good story great. As always, I give authors a chance to comment on the edited version before it is posted.