If the first draft allows the writer to indulge in a carefree orgy of imagination, a Wild West of whimsy, and a devil-may-care series of experiments, then the editing process demands the writer to abstain, rein it in, and exorcise a host of demons.
The Social Security Administration recently released the top baby names for 2011. I know this because I can’t NOT click on an article about baby names.
Joseph Epstein said, “Every writer is a thief, though some of us are more clever than others at disguising our robberies.” He was referring to minor counts of plagiarism—an apt description, a novel turn of phrase, a treatment of syntax that (with a minor tweak) we could pass off as our own brilliant invention. However, the thievery doesn’t end there.