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The Alchemy of Editing

May 25, 2010 blog, Notes on Editing Comments Off on The Alchemy of Editing

The  longer title for this post is: Why You Must Love the People You Work With. Editing is, in many ways, more creative than people realize. Proofreading, of course, is a relatively straightforward job, requiring the editor have a knowledge of grammar rules, current trends (yes, even grammar has them), and house style guides. That being said, even certain grammar rules require a subjective look, e.g., “Does this sentence need a comma, or does it make sense without it?” (I’m not lying; CMOS 6.20 is “In a series whose elements are all joined by conjunctions, no commas are needed unless the elements are long and pauses helpful.”)

But more than that, as an editor, you need to know if your editing style is going to work with the author’s style. I run into this a lot in the work I do with historical and UK fiction, and Henry and I both encounter it on ghost writing projects. Personally, I tend to consistently follow rules, such as ellipsis to indicate stuttering speech or trailing off and em dashes to show interruption (within quotation marks) or an interruption in the dialogue to explain movement (em dashes in the middle of dialogue but outside the quotation marks).

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Whist, Blood Pudding, and Pride & Prejudice

May 14, 2010 blog, Some Edited Titles in Print Comments Off on Whist, Blood Pudding, and Pride & Prejudice

A lot has happened in the past month, causing me to neglect the dear blog. In the past four weeks, I had a nasty cold that held on for at least two of those weeks, both parents came to visit, I worked on no less than five editing projects, and a number of books that I worked on were published. In particular, I copyedited a novella collection that will come out from Sourcebooks this winter, which gave me the opportunity to not only work with two authors I’ve sincerely enjoyed working with before, but also gave me the chance to work on a novella for the first time (pretty much the same as other fiction, only, you know, shorter) and work with a debut author on her Pride & Prejudice re-imagining (which is also a kind of A Christmas Carol re-imaging—very cool).

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