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>How do you handle the situation in which one reviewer (out
>of a total of six) who insists that his/her changes/edits
>_must_ be incorporated in to the current revision?
>I have one review team member who is adamant that
>his/her edits absolutely must be incorporated into the
>current revision, regardless of the opinions of the other
>team members and myself. He/She is the "software
>quality assurance" engineer and as such insists that the
>quality of the manual is within his/her purview.
>My position is (and has been for the last twelve years of
>being a tech writer) that I will accommodate a reviewer's
>edits "within reason" and that as the writer _I_ have the
>final say in what goes in the manuals.
It works either way, depending on who you work for. I have been in situations
where the Writer owns the book and so determines what comments he or she will
incorporate, regardless of what comments the Editor has made. I have worked in
other situations, however, where the Writer cannot get the book released
without the Editors sign-off. In those situations, if you want to get the book
out, you have to submit to the Editor's dictates. It pretty much boils down to
who has the power to do what. I agree that Writers should accommodate a
reviewer's edits only "within reason" because my experience has shown, quite
frankly, that, just as there are poor Writers in the world, there are poor
Editors. Very often companies will use substitute Editors because of time cr
unches. I see this all the time. I once had to deal with an Editor who
absolutely would not allow a sentence to begin with a conditional clause. When
I questioned that, the response was vague, but had something to do with "that's
the way he was taught and besides it sounds better." Subjective editing drives
me nuts, but it's something we all have to deal with. About the only thing I
can recommend is either sharpen your negotiation skills (Good Editors are
reasonable people) and try to enhance your Writer/Editor relationship. As a
very last desperate effort, if you truly do not like your Writer/Editor
arrangement, with good reasons, perhaps you should bring it to a higher power
for resolution. Just keep in mind that when you do that, your Writer/Editor
relationship is goin' South. But then, maybe it's already gone.