The Importance of Being Ernest About Editing


The day my first manuscript returned from the proofreaders, off it went again, this time destined for the editing process. It was not long before it returned and, to be honest, I dreaded opening it.

I stalled for most of the morning and, managed to delay my confrontation with reality until after lunch and, it was more than likely the Malt Whiskey which I had with my coffee after that that finally gave me the courage to open the package and begin to read .

Fortunately each edit was marked as; suggestion in the right hand column of the word document, with a blue line indicating where I might like to apply the recommended edit, and there were quite a few!

To begin with, as I read through the suggested edits diligently, I could feel my anger rising, how dare she! If I were to make that edit as recommended, not only would it change the output of chapter 5, but confuse the reader later on, and so it went. I was, to say the least; both disappointed and annoyed at her rude intrusion into my work. "But hang on", a little voice said; Coming from I suspect, an area of ​​my mind that deal with logic versus pride, "It was after all you who invited this intrusion", as I thought of it then, "and paid for it! Moreover", the little voice went on , "you're not obligated to make these changes, they are after all; only suggested edits, have another look."

Pushing aside my male pride; a constant barrier hampering men's ability to see the light, I began to read the document again, this time allowing myself, although reluctantly, the occasionalional suggested change until the chapter was completed. Then feeling something like a traitor to my own cause, I closed down the word application, and went back to my writing.

Later that evening, curious to see if I had indeed; destroyed the mood of chapter 5, I started Word again and gingerly re-read the edited chapter. To my astonishment it did actually read better; more fluid and, the atmosphere I had so carefully crafted was still there.

Of course I congratulated myself on my innate male ability to have selected the correct edits, and the little voice said. "But that's what you were supposed to do in the first place, dummy."

Anything that will improve your style and enhance your chances of actually selling your work is a must. Try to think of the editing and proofreading process as learning tools so that you will not, in the future, make the same mistakes again.

James A Bresco