101 Things About Me #39

Wow. It’s been ages since I’ve added anything to this list. Looking back over the list, I noticed one entry at the beginning of September in which I stated that I’d try to work on the list more, but alas I didn’t. Forgive me.

I don’t think I’ve listed this yet, but I’ve been an editor. For at least four different publishers all online. Before today, I didn’t know there was a specific name for the type of editing I did. Well in actuality I did all three types of editing as an editor of books, but one type I’d never heard of… Of course the one I didn’t know about comprised the bulk of my work. Substantive editing. For those of you who, like me, didn’t know there was such an animal, this is what a substantive editor does:

Sometimes called developmental editing, substantive editing looks at both the content and structure of a manuscript as a cohesive whole. Does the story or argument flow logically? Are there obvious gaps in a certain area? Too much information someplace else? Substantive editing can involve re-ordering large chunks of text, removing text, adding text, and even rewriting.

Of course I’m the type of editor who has to go through everything with a fine tooth comb so more often than not I was doing copy editing as well, which is supposed to only look at mechanical problems. Grammar, spelling errors, usage, etc. The third type of editing I personally believe can be done by anyone. Not someone specifically trained as an editor. Anyone can proofread. I mean think about it; how often did you ask a friend to read over a paper when you were in school? You didn’t necessarily seek out an English major who’s already well armed for the real editing work.