For writers looking to shift their careers, an editing position often seems like the next logical step. But, before you start eyeing that spot on the masthead, make sure you have these key magazine and newspaper editor skill sets.

No. 5: A gift for finding the “so what?” in a story

It’s great that you can spot comma splices and sentence fragments, but great editors can also pull out the important elements of a story so readers don’t end up feeling like they just squandered their last five or so minutes.

“One of the things I can do really well is I can see a story in my mind before it’s written. When you’re writing, it’s all about getting the ideas out. It’s more emotional,” said Kweli WrightJuicy contributing editor. ”When you’re editing, you have to think like a writer but also think like a reader and make sure that the beginning, middle, conclusion and quotes make sense to make the story come alive.”

Read more in 5 Signs You’re Ready to Be an Editor. [subscription required]

Andrea Hackett