Re: Standard Editing process

Subject: Re: Standard Editing process
From: Suzette Seveny <suzettes -at- STRATINFOTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 1998 16:59:27 -0400

I have a style sheet that writers use and I also have a list of "Rules".
The rules define the style used (i.e., second party vs. third party), a
list of prohibited words (i.e., consequently, subsequently, prior to,
merely, etc.) and any other information the writers need before they start.
I review their first section, and return with comments so that they can
see the tone they need to take in the remaining sections.

My goal is to concentrate on grammar and readability levels, and format /
printing considerations. An ideal situation would be to make the client
fairly self-sufficient, while at the same time have everybody attempting to
sound the same. I realize that editorial review still needs to happen, but
I am aiming to reduce the amount of time (which is cost to the client) that
I need to spend on the documentation.

So I guess this means I agree with you.

Suzette Leeming

-----Original Message-----
From: Sarah Carroll [SMTP:sarahc -at- INDIGO -dot- IE]
Sent: April 21, 1998 11:39 AM
Subject: Standard Editing process

Hi all,
I'm working with a client on preparing an outline for
their documentation process. The company is
(relatively) small, but growing fast, and wishes
to put in place a process which will be equally
effective no matter what size the doc. group ends
up at. Currently three to four tech. communicators.

The client and I cannot agree on what is the standard
process for editing. I suspect that there isn't one :-)
which is why I'm soliciting your help.

The subject matter is fairly modular, making it
feasible for multiple writers to work on the same
products' documentation. There is a style guide,
(although much in need of updating), a glossary
system, a separate indexer, and much legacy material.

The client contends that it is standard practise for
writers to submit first drafts of all material to editors
for review, a chapter at a time. That the editor then
marks up the changes, and returns the whole to
the writer, who implements the changes across
all the material after finishing the first drafts of all
the chapters he/she is responsible for.

I think that this is a most inefficient way of using
resources, and would prefer to see a process
whereby a sample/first chapter is submitted to
the editor for review, this is marked up by the editor
and changes discussed with the writer, who then has
the opportunity to write according to correct guidelines
from the (almost) start if they have not done so already.
With a coherent style guide, this should be possible.
The editor can then concentrate on clarity, grammar,
consistency, punctuation, completeness - etc. and
not necessarily in that order.

Has the client been reading too much Dilbert? Or
am being overly optimistic? Opinions and experiences
much appreciated.

Thanks and Best
sarahc -at- indigo -dot- ie

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