Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Good Editing Through Teamwork

One thing about writing. . . it takes time. There's no way around it. And it takes creativity and a love of what you are doing. But editing and proofreading takes even more than skill and time. It takes teamwork.

Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services works as a team on many client projects. If one team member serves as the developmental editor on a manuscript, she may turn over the finished draft to one of our copy editors before sending it to the client for review. That way, the document stays in-house, and we are able to give each client’s work a fresh pair of eyes.

When ghostwriting or working closely with an author on the development of a book, my eyes may overlook what's actually on the page and only see what I meant to write. If the same team member who developed a manuscript is going to edit it, we will let the book sit a while, and then come back to it with a fresh perspective and unbiased eyes. If the book needs to be turned quickly, we have someone else on the team do the copy edit. Having a second editor involved gives a totally different perspective; she is a new reader with a fresh set of eyes that can lend even more help in bringing a high-quality book to market.

My mother is an excellent proofreader. She proofread documents and wrote letters when she held her day job. Now that she is retired, she enjoys reading some of the books we're working on. So, if I need help with a document, I'll send it to her for the final proofread.

Mom does it the old-fashioned way rather than on the computer screen. She prints the whole thing out, then she'll call me and say, “Chapter so-and-so on page such-and-such in the third paragraph ought to have a semi-colon. There are two independent clauses.” Or she might say, “Who is so-and-so? I don't remember him being introduced earlier in the story.”

Oops! How did I miss that? It's nice to have a mom who can help me like this. After all, she is a non-biased end user—the reader who finds errors even after we think we have a perfect document.

Who proofreads your work? If you need a proofreader, WITS can help. Call us at 615-415-9861 or contact us on our Web site: http://writersinthesky.com

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