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There are several of you on my f-list who are professional editors. Are there any textbooks on editing you would recommend, or even training courses this side of the Atlantic?


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 4th, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC)
Ask nihilistic kid
He's sure to know!
Jul. 4th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC)
most people pick it up as they go along, and also editing styles depend greatly on context (Editing for clarity, editing for attractiveness/livelyness, editing for propaganda, editing for consistency, editing to obscure, etc.) which is why for instance most newspapers, publishing agencies, etc. will have their own 'stijlboek' which dictates what the editors should pay particular attention to, and what needs to be changed to fit the general theme.

That said, The Elements of Style by Strunk and White has been an editing classic in the states since 1959. It edits for clarity. It's outdated and opinionated and still really really helpful.

Another book I enjoy is Mind the Gaffe by RL Trask, "the penguin guide to common errors in English". Obviously far more useful for me than for you.

I don't know of any training courses in english, although I think most Uni's offer their English language students a few editing seminars.
Jul. 4th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC)
Editors on Editing isn't a textbook, but it's a good collection of essays about various aspects of the craft, by practitioners thereof.
Jul. 4th, 2006 04:56 pm (UTC)

The New York Times Stylebook was our "Bible" when I was studying journalism back in the day (my Comm Major was good for something!)
I still have it, although I'm having h hard time putting my hands on it just this minute.
Very helpful reference for other subject matter besides journalism. The Associated Press" also has a guide, but it's not as user-friendly as the NYT>
Jul. 4th, 2006 06:06 pm (UTC)
Copyediting by Judith Butcher is really useful, and will teach you a lot of the things you'd need to know about copyediting. The Forest for the Trees is a very enjoyable guide for writers that has a lot to say to fiction editors as well
Jul. 4th, 2006 08:31 pm (UTC)
Do I detect the faint rumblings of a plan? Can fannish activities be far behind??

Of course, I could be completely wrong...
Jul. 5th, 2006 05:29 am (UTC)
I had my professional obligations more in mind!
Jul. 4th, 2006 09:23 pm (UTC)
What kind of editing are you talking about? In my experience there are two distinct stages, one where you make structural changes, and a second where you fix grammar, consistency, spelling, etc. It's often the same person that does both, but they're quite different skills.
Jul. 5th, 2006 05:29 am (UTC)
Absolutely; and while I am happy enough with my performance at the second, I need to improve at the first stage.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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