I love lists. Lists of tips are awesome too. My twitter feed served up this tweet by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (@TheSfEP):
I loved that this author thinks of editing as structural editing, or what I call substantive or development editing, and not copy editing or proofreading. She introduces her list of tips with this awesome quote about editing as magic, another love of mine:
For me, editing is where the magic happens. And editing has a lot in common with magic: it takes a lot of practice, and it works best when you see its effects, but not the details of how it was done.
Here are her 5 tips, with my thoughts or comments:
- Stay focused on the brief and the audience.
I think I’d split this into two tips: Be brief and Stay focused on the audience. I think both have value for editors to remember.
- Remember: it’s a dialogue.
Yes! It is not a dictatorship (even though we might want it to be sometimes), not a directive, but a dialogue.
- Look out for what the author doesn’t say.
Editors must use all contexts, all information that is presented to them, and what is not written is very valuable information to consider.
- Timing is important.
This one feels very specific to fiction writing, at least the way she presented it. In a technical communication world, timing of when you do your editing is important, so I’ll just adapt this tip for my context.
- Share the love.
Editing is a very critical process, so it is important to comment on what you like or what is good about a piece of writing, so that you can keep the dialogue going between yourself and the writer.