“Please take back out every Oxford comma,” a journalistic-minded author of mine once said. I began my editing career using Associated Press (AP) Style, so I understood his suggestion, but the house style at my current company mandated the use of the serial comma. We had a short, spirited, and (thankfully) respectful debate about it, and ultimately house style prevailed. I convinced the author that the meaning in his writing remained unchanged and using a serial comma accomplished something important to the company—it maintained consistency throughout their titles.
So you’ve written a novel. You’ve done a couple of drafts, and you feel good enough about it to ask a few people to take a look. Choose carefully; you need constructive feedback, not unconditional love. You won’t get it from the person who’s kept all your precious papers since you were four, and you won’t get it from your soul mate. Your trusted readers are business casual: friendly, but there for a reason.
The first read is mostly for characters and story—the who, what, and why. Your trusted readers tell you what was great about the book and what wasn’t so great. They ask for clarification and comment on that thing that happens in chapter four that maybe could happen sooner, or not at all. You grit your teeth, smile, and revise.
After almost three terms as the editorial assistant for Ooligan Press, I have become accustomed to the compulsory blank stare that results from hearing the term “light copyedit” when discussing blog posts and the importance of maintaining an author’s voice and intent. For some floaters, or volunteer editors, this glazed-over expression is a sign of […]
Fall term has arrived and has brought with it students new to Ooligan Press, students new to the book publishing program, and students new to The Ocean in My Ears team. Joining our team this term we have the talented Brianne Robinson, who is not new to Ooligan but is new to our team, along […]
After being selected as the new editorial assistant, I was both elated to have a larger role in Ooligan Press and apprehensive of the mistakes that lie ahead. And while I am still thrilled to be an editor, I can’t seem to rid myself of the ever-present anxiety and fear. They’re like that relative you […]
As you all know, Write to Publish 2016 has officially ended. We’re basically done with the wrap-up, too, sending out the thank-you letters, updating the manual, and making sure the thousands of emails and spreadsheets are organized for the Write to Publish 2017 team. It’ll be an amazing feeling when it’s all completely finished. One […]