Epic prompts and why editors are a good idea

First off, I saw my friend and his sister today. I don't see them a lot and it was good to talk to them again - they're probably the people most on my level in my social circle.

Anyway, we had a good time and during the course of the day my friend asked to look at some of my writing. He knows how I write loads and loads of stories but run out of steam once I reach the middle (sometimes I don't even get past the beginning...), and I showed him part of a story I'd written on one of his prompts. We both had a good laugh at its general crackiness (I may post it up here one day, but it was a story about a French intellectual being kidnapped by a chair from IKEA who wanted to search for his lost love...yeah, it was weird) and my overblown style of writing (I was trying to parody bad romance novels and failed hard). So, this friend suggests I combine three of my stories (beginning, middle and end) and I suggest that since there are three of us we could each take a part of the story and see what came out. Somehow this mutated into us writing an epic, and then into me writing said epic - which I will do if and when I have the time for it, but I have a feeling I will. It'll be the crackiest thing on the planet, and just to give you a taste of what it'll be like...

...there's a 15-year-old apprentice studying to be a Holy Knight, an evil master bunny and his right-hand guinea pig, a mysterious person named George who was found in a light bulb, a cute little living bomb who goes "meep" and likes eating candy, a French intellectual kidnapped by his chair (same one from the first cracky story, in case you were wondering), a walking ocean created by a mad scientist, an arrogant adventurer from one of the most repressed places on the planet, a knight from Plumbase, a French critic who thinks everything in the story is bad and cheesy, a cuddly penguin, El Schnitzerpoodle, Slobberanian Families, a math-loving baker/swordsman who owns the cute candy-loving bomb, the mad scientist who created the walking ocean, the Great Call of Calliness, a bunch of very nice robotic aliens, two evil twins who are constantly trying to double-cross the evil master bunny who is trying to double-cross them while they're double-crossing him (it's all very complicated), a vehicle which runs on nonsense and spits out purple prose, a broken Mickey Mouse watch which is in fact an artefact of not-so-great power, and the most insane airline anywhere in the world ever.

Wish me luck with this! :)

On another note (also inspired by my friend - we were talking about vanity publishing and whether we could get them to publish 2800 pages of characters thinking about bacon...long story), today I looked at a blog about self-publishing which claims editors aren't necessary. I have never had a book published, ever, so I fully appreciate that this weakens my points a bit, but there are numerous examples of authors' writing getting worse without editors there: sans editor, they don't have a reality check on what they're writing, so plotholes, filibusters and bad characters can run amok. This is the reason editors exist in the first place - to make sure the author's writing can be sold and does not suck too badly. This is why in the fanfiction world you are encouraged to use betas. This is why you are encouraged to let other people look at your work critically.

I can understand why a bad editor is worse than no editor, but to throw editors out of the window altogether? You have to have someone criticise and revise your work before it goes out to the public. Otherwise you're just another person with a small name and a big ego