Re: Standard Editing process

Subject: Re: Standard Editing process
From: Michelle Nichols <mnichols -at- HEALTHPOINT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 07:52:49 -0400

While I agree with all that has been said so far concerning the "standard
editing process," I think that there are a couple variations that could be
brought up. Of course the editor wants to get the writer early feedback on
initial chapters, so that the writer can then use the comments on future
chapters. However, everyone always assumes that the focus is on grammar
and punctuation. There is another level of editing that can be helpful
upfront in a "standard editing process."

In an ideal world (I like to try and live in such a world, despite everyone
else's best efforts! ha!), I think the process would flow something like

(1) Writer and editor work together on developing the outline for the
information deliverable (document, help, whatever). This builds a
relationship and team effort at producing the best information for the
right purpose and the right audience, that can be used throughout the

(2) Writer delivers first draft of information, in modular units
preferrably or all together, and the editor reviews the document for
organization, structure, purpose, audience, and overall style issues.
Working at a high-level, while the information is more in flux, makes more
sense for both the writer and the editor. If they can get settled on the
organization, structure, and purpose, then the rest of the process goes
more smoothly.

(3) Writer delivers second (final?) draft of the information, in total,
and the editor reviews the document for grammar, punctuation, flow,
purpose, audience, and overall style. At this point, the information is
more settled and complete, and the editor's comments on grammar and
punctuation will have the most impact because the writing is the most
stable and the most complete.

I realize that it is rare that you get the opportunity to fit two editing
cycles into your process, but it is a good goal to shoot for. I can
remember a time when we did 3 passes through a document before it went out
the door. Ah, those were the good old days. Ha!

Michelle Corbin Nichols

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