When a copyeditor is entranced in correcting inconsistencies, they can get trapped in suggesting rewrites and spending too much time leaving comments on plot, which is the job of a developmental editor. Sometimes a developmental editor can be so distracted by the grammatical errors that they end up scanning the whole manuscript before proceeding to plot hole corrections.
Although editors are a notoriously introverted bunch, we all stand to benefit from a little social connection. What happens when you run into a truly perplexing problem—be it a difficult client or a questionable comma—and you need to turn to other editors for advice? Where can editors go to receive mentoring and swap war stories? This post outlines some of the ways in which editors can connect with each other—virtually as well as in person—in order to grow as professionals and build a sense of community.
If you’re a writer or an English major who aced every spelling and grammar quiz in school, you might think to yourself, “Hey, I’m pretty good with words. I understand punctuation, possessives, and present participles. I would make a fantastic copyeditor!” And you could very well be right. But before you dive headfirst into this profession, it’s important to know that for a good copyeditor, grammatical know-how is just the tip of the iceberg; successful copyediting requires a number of additional skills that have nothing to do with whipping out that red pen to correct a dangling modifier. This post outlines some essential copyediting skills that are completely unrelated to grammar and spelling.
A line edit typically occurs between developmental editing and copyediting, and it’s a sort of transition between making large structural changes and perfecting the mechanics of the language. Not every manuscript needs a line edit, but a line edit would likely enhance most manuscripts because its primary focus is not on perfecting the language but on elevating it.
Though style sheets can seem confusing at first, they are among the most important tools at a copyeditor’s disposal. As long as you keep your style sheet organized and record all of your decisions related to mechanics and style, you should be all right. (Or is it “alright”? Better check the style sheet.)
While editing might seem quite straightforward at first, the process must be flexible based on the manuscript, the genre, and the press. In this post, I’ll be giving a little bit of insight into how books are edited here at Ooligan, since we do things a little differently.