Re: Editing, Schmediting

Subject: Re: Editing, Schmediting
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 07:57:58 -0700

Lisa Miller writes:

>I am having an awful experience coming face to face with the fact
>that I am editing disabled. Design, Format, Conception - I'm your
>writer! Have me read what I wrote for missed words, inconsistencies,
>and the grammatical errors - No way.

This is all perfectly normal. In fact, it's the main reason
copy-editors exist at all. It's particularly difficult to edit
your own work, since the normal operation of the human brain gets
in the way -- your beloved nervous system is all to happy to ignore
the details of a familiar image and supply the symbols it represents,
instead.

I went to some trouble to engage an excellent editor to go over
my work, at my expense, before the final version (or sometimes the
draft) is delivered to my clients. This works.

There is a perfectionist camp on this group that assumes that
errors in final copy are the result of inadequate self-flagellation,
but I find that going over the copy forty-seven times provides
the same inadequate results as going over it only once. What I
need are fresh eyes, and repetition can't give you fresh eyes
(though it can give you red eyes). On the other hand, engaging
someone who hasn't seen the work before to go over it with
fresh eyes works very well.

So my advice is to get thee to an editor.

My worst editing disaster? Was it the time I transposed a client's
phone and fax numbers? The misspelling in the first paragraph?
The incorrect pin numbers on the integrated circuit? One of those,
probably.

-- Robert
--
Robert Plamondon, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139
http://www.pioneer.net/~robertp

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