Tag: Content Editing

Westercon 69 and My Resulting “To Do” Items

Checklist.

I’m currently attending Westercon 69 in Portland and enjoying both the company of friends old and new, and the panels. I’ve attended quite a few panels on writing and getting published, with many of these geared toward indie and small press authors. As a result of listening to the audience questions, I now have the following items on my list to add to this site.

  • Tips for Hiring an Editor
  • Tips for Working with Editors
  • Signs You Need a New Editor
  • What are General Editing Categories
  • Editing Contracts
  • What is a Style Guide and Why Do You Care?
  • How to Be a Good Beta Reader

Those are just the topics off the top of my head. If you are particularly interested in one or more of these, let me know in comments or on Facebook, and I’ll move them up in the queue. Otherwise I’ll tackle them in some random order.

For those people I have met at Westercon – pleased to meet you! Hope you are having a great convention.

Know the Lingo

I’ve had a bit of time for pleasure reading recently and, being as I’m a huge football fan and it’s that time of year, I’ve read a few romances featuring football players. Great reading for the bus since I pick them up and put them down easily.

But my experiences with two of these books made me grind my teeth because of errors. In one case, I don’t think the author knows much about football, so the lingo was just wrong. In the other, I believe there was an uncaught autocorrect issue that snuck through and it was so obvious, I was more annoyed than usual.

If you are writing or editing anything where there is the expectation of a lingo or specialized language being used then you really NEED to get it correct. True, in some cases only a small subset of your readers would know the difference if the focus is on a small or esoteric area. However, as with these football-based stories, there are areas where many many audience members may have a good knowledge of what should be in use.

Errors drive the audience nuts and you immediately lose a lot of credibility.
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A Primer on Types of Editing

When I get a request to “edit” a story, the first thing I do is clarify just what type of editing a client is looking to have performed because the range of possibilities is actually quite broad. To make things even more interesting, there’s not a true 100% standardization on the names or even tasks of particular types of editing within the publishing industry. The definitions and tasks can vary across different publishing houses, different publishing niches and even with different freelance editors.

It’s all a bit of a mess and it can be confusing for authors who are either looking for editing services or trying to figure out what the status they’ve just been sent by their editor means.

Instead of attempting some sort of World Dominance of Editing Terminology, I’ve listed below the three major editing types with a few of their alternate names and the most common tasks associated with those types of editing. This is the list I work off of and will give you a decent, if imperfect, idea of what you’re looking at when you are contracting for editing services or getting a status on editing in progress.

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