Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Edit time for Theodore Roosevelt

I like doing edits. Theodore Roosevelt for Kids is now with the "developmental editor." She is the "second pair of eyes" to read the manuscript, following the first pass by my senior editor. I am cautioned to make changes only "within the manuscript" using a different color than her edits.

The development editor is wonderful. She picks up lots of small nuances in meaning that repeated sweeps by my [weary] eyes have missed over multiple revisions. She catches misspellings, inconsistencies, and stuff that clearly makes no sense to her. Such as my opening quote:

“I think there ought to be children’s books. I think that the child will like grown up books also, and I do not believe a child’s book is really good unless grown ups get something out of it.”

--Theodore Roosevelt

My editor said < The consensus here is that this is a weak quote. A quote might be fitting for an epigraph page, but can you find a more exciting/engaging one? Perhaps something that epitomizes Roosevelt’s personality or political philosophy?>

Now, I love that quote. It's a headline on both my blog and website. It's partly why I like writing for children.

Nonetheless, I respect my editors' opinions, so I'm going with an epigraph, the opening to a book. (See
To Kill a Mockingbird for a good example of an epigraph.)

This one came right to mind, one of TR's most famous quotes. And my heartfelt thanks to Bethany Hauser Clawson for reminding me about it:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause…..”

I hope that my editor likes this one.