Re: Editing, Smediting

Subject: Re: Editing, Smediting
From: Doreen Mannion <DoreenM520 -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 14:29:13 -0400

In a message dated 97-04-17 13:44:25 EDT, lisamil -at- ZEUS -dot- ANET-STL -dot- COM (Lisa A.
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. <snip>

I am pretty much just spiraling into the abyss with self doubt and no
answers. Please shed some light on what you do to ensure editing quality.
Tell me your answers to editing. How do you do it? Thanks. <end of
repost>

Lisa, Lisa, Lisa! First, take a deep breath. There is hope! Here's a couple
of tips off the top of my head:

1--Every project needs a style sheet. Normally, you'd start one at the
beginning of the project, but it's not too late. Take a piece of paper and
write all 26 letters on it. Then place "unique" words and the correct (or
preferred) spelling under the appropriate letter. For example, put product
names, unusually spelled keywords, etc.

2--Does your writing software have a grammar checker? I don't normally
recommend using one, but if you're short on time, it might find some things
you've overlooked.

3--Review the chapters in random order. That is, don't start at chapter 1 and
work to chapter 25. Start at chapter 25 and jump around. When you become too
familiar with the material (i.e., how it's presented from 1-->25), you're
more likely to miss things.

4--Read every line backwards. Sounds goofy, but you'll find a surprising
number of boo-boos this way. It forces you to read each word as actual
written, not as your mind assumes it's written.

Those are the "quickies" for now. For the future, see if there's an editing
and/or proofreading class you can take. I know there are grammar "workbooks"
you can buy. Most of all, don't be so hard on yourself. There are many, many
writers who cannot edit well, and most writers cannot edit what they've
written. Why, I'm sure if I'd read this email backwards, I'd find lots of
stuff!

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