“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?
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”