Monday, June 10, 2013

Editing 101

So when you are editing a document for someone else, it is standard practice to do it with track changes "on." (For those of you who have never used this feature it is located in the "tools" section of MSWord.) This is a very valuable tool, because sometimes the author wants to keep certain items that are not grammatically correct. Consider these examples:

"You should be careful who you go to bed with." is not a grammatically correct sentence because it ends in a preposition. However,

"You should be careful with whom you go to bed." may not sound right to the author of the piece.

Track changes allows the editor to edit and the changes are marked in a color such as red, and then the author can accept or reject those changes (en masse or one-by-one). Another feature of MSWord allows you to add comments. This is also helpful for beginning writers, because they can have their work critiqued directly in document.

So, as you can imagine, I had a person hire me to edit their document. When I edit, I have a process that effectively checks the document three times. But in this case, there was a lot of red by the time I had done the second check (a line edit). So, I sent it to the author and asked her to accept or reject the changes so I could do the final edit. She was in shock. Instead of getting a nice complete document back, she opened it to find a sea of red. She quickly asked me to "just edit it" because it was due. So, I accepted all my changes for her. It was very odd for me.

Although I am not obligated to do it, I will probably teach this person how to use this function. It creates an atmosphere of teamwork that any ghostwriter should have with their credited author.

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