There’s a good thread on the ADBooks list serve I’m not quite following about big books. I’m on record as loving me some short novels and admiring authors who can do a lot in a little space. One thing, however, that bothers me, is the notion that these books needed to be “edited down.” Or that they’re overlong because they’re “under-edited.”
Being aware of a book’s length relative to its audience's expectations is unquestionably part of the editor’s job, but what I bristle at is the notion that the only meaningful tool an editor wields is a machete and that we cut despite an author’s wishes. Editing at its best is far subtler, more multifaceted, and more collaborative. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to this American RadioWorks podcast , where a radio editor beautifully describes his craft. Couldn’t say it better myself.