One of the terrifying things about writing is that sometimes the same techniques and strategies that can improve your work can destroy it, and it’s hard, as you work, to know what’s happening. Sometimes a long process of revision and outside editing can strengthen and clarify stories and make them worth reading; sometimes it can leave them as limp and lifeless as an oil-free steam-table vegan curry. Worse, incompetent editing can shunt experience and description into the evil proscribed molds — This American Life-y punchlines, women’s-magazine happy endings — that kill truth.
Home Cooking. Would an editor have removed a clause from that middle sentence and made me lose my dependence on mdashes in the third one? Probably!