“We’re editors: we live to edit things. We’re horrified when we have to leave something we see as wrong. But sometimes the situation demands that we do.”
Some gems from this article on ACESeditors include:
• All you need to know about semicolons is that Shirley Jackson liked them.
• If it starts with a capital letter, look it up.
• People don’t need to nod their heads, they can just nod. What else are you going to nod, your elbow?
This is a common fear, especially in new writers, and you aren’t alone. But it might not be the right question to ask …
“Whether or not our writing is good is impossible to answer .”Because our writing will never be ‘good’ or ‘not good.’ It’s not a binary craft and there’s no singular moment when we magically become a ‘good’ writer.”
Like me, you’ve likely seen ads for an editing product called Grammarly. This weekend, I took some time to research what kind of services the product offers, and after a lot of reading, I can definitely see some benefits, especially for non-native English speakers and those writing short pieces (e.g., blog posts, articles, etc.).
I don’t, however, think that Grammarly could replace a real-life editor for a more complicated projects (e.g., a novel, whether fiction or nonfiction). There are many reasons for this, including catching issues with continuity and point of view, and it turns out I’m not alone …
“Reading writing craft books not only helps developmental editors stay on top of how writers are currently thinking about storytelling. It can also help us find new ways of explaining complex aspects of storytelling to an author.
“A shiny new book arrived by courier. I appreciated its weight, admired the cover art, braved removing the cellophane wrap, and turned to the copyright page to check for my name. Then, I slid the book onto a shelf, where it will stay. Whenever I break my ‘don’t look at a finished project’ rule, I invariably crack a book open at the one page with the lingering error. #faint”
Brain Pickings is an online “digest of the week’s most interesting and inspiring articles across art, science, philosophy, creativity, children’s books, and other strands of our search for truth, beauty, and meaning.”
This morning, I stumbled across an article on writer Zadie Smith:
“In the winter of 2010, inspired by Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing published in The New York Times nearly a decade earlier, The Guardian reached out to some of today’s most celebrated authors and asked them to each offer his or her rules. My favorite is Zadie Smith’s list — an exquisite balance of the practical, the philosophical, and the poetic, and a fine addition to this ongoing omnibus of great writers’ advice on the craft.”
To read Smith’s rules for writing, click here, and once you’ve finished, spend some time perusing the thought-provoking, idea-filled site that is Brain Pickings to get empowered and encouraged for 2019!