Empath was a story I originally wrote and had published in an anthology back in 2006. Besides things when I was in junior high school and one thing in college, this was one of my first professionally published pieces of fiction. I edited it some since then, but have mostly–in the name of nostalgia–kept it the way it was when it was originally published. I feel I’ve become a better writer since then. After all, that’s been about seven years. I’ve been writing professionally for about fifteen years, but I’ve only professionally been selling fiction now for the past seven years. I’ve drastically improved since then, but I don’t think I was all that terrible back then. I do, however, have copies of books I’d started back in 1993 and 1994, and I laugh at how much of a newbie I was.
I once used ellipses in order to denote a pause, and the longer the pause, the more dots I put. For a very long and dramatic pause, I would often put……………..
And I was the queen of the interrobang (!?), which is a big no-no in editing terms. Over the years, though, I worked under the tutelage of several professional editors. I ended up working with someone who was an editor at a national magazine, and he is the one who said I had a knack for story consistency and developmental editing. He took me under his wing and helped me learn how to spot those little things in a story that most writers miss, character inconsistencies. He taught me to question everything that a reader might question, and then have the author answer to that. I’m a stronger, better writer and editor because of his training. I then worked under developmental editors as a line editor–one of many–working on an assigned book. Once I had done a couple of books that way, I started editing both developmentally and line editing for small publishers.
Unfortunately, some small publishers don’t really want deep developmental editing. They really just want folks to proofread the book and then they publish it. Sadly, many authors seem to feel this way too, so editing isn’t always easy when writers and publishers are willing to put out sub-standard fare.
And all of this is to say that when Empath was originally published, the publisher who put it in the anthology did edit it, but it received little more than a line edit. Now, with more experience and time in the field, I’m a better writer and a hell of a better editor, and I could do so much better with this story.
But for nostalgia’s sake, I offer it to you mostly as it was in 2006. Empath… I hope you enjoy it.
Love and stuff,