RE: Politeness in editing (was: When the thesaurus attacks...)

Subject: RE: Politeness in editing (was: When the thesaurus attacks...)
From: "Foster, Willow" <WFoster -at- friedmancorp -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 08:18:58 -0600

Edwyn Kumar wrote:
~> The purpose of an edit is to give the writer solid information on how to
~> increase the quality of their manuscript. Often, these suggestions can be
~> blunt, harsh, straight-forward and very hurtful from a personal
~> but highly effective from a technical, grammatical and contextual
~> perspective. I'd rather have a brutal edit, a stellar manuscript and
positive reviews,
~> as opposed to a kind edit, mediocre manuscript and brutal reviews!

To which Jane Carnall replied:
~> I've been both editor and writer-being-edited, and I agree with Edwyn:
but I'd say that it's
~> much easier to take the brutal edits if they are accompanied by praise
for the good parts. An
~> excellent editor of my acquaintance once said that when she sends an MS
back she
~> always tries to begin her remarks with some positive comment and to
include positive
~> comments (even if just a "I like this!" through the MS).

While I agree that edits can and should be written in a tactful way, I hate
it when I find little good-for-you comments all over my books. When someone
edits my stuff they are supposed to find the things I miss, not make me feel
good. I always feel slightly put out when I find that many of the red* marks
are things that don't need to be fixed. When I'm under a harsh deadline, I'm
even worst about it. *grumble...good word...grumble...busy...evil
eye...scowl* This company hired me to use the right word, sentence
structure, style guide, etc. It's not a big deal if I do just that. Now, if
I do that and get it 100% right the first go round, then... well, then they
should just give me a big fat raise! :)


*or green.. cuz it's less threatening. UGH! Try harder to see.

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