Archives for “revising”
The Conspiracy Editors get a bad rap. When I meet someone new and mention that I’m an editor, I’m likely to get a suspicious look, as though I’m part of a conspiracy to make English too difficult to leave to amateurs.
Why was the road crossed by the chicken? When a sentence starts with the thing being acted upon rather than the thing doing the acting, that sentence is in “passive voice.” For example, if you ask me where the hat is that you lent me, and I reply, “It got lost,” I have used the [...]
It’s said that a good editor is like a samurai. Proficient with both the pen and the sword, he—can’t really call a samurai “she,” can I?—slices with precision, but without hesitation. And slicing is the first step in editing your manuscript.
An exasperated author I know once wrote back to me saying, “Yeah, everybody says that: ‘show, don’t tell.’ But I can’t figure out what they mean! How do I know which is which?”
When I’m looking over a manuscript that’s been submitted to me for publication, the first thing I do is read the first five pages. At that point, I might toss it, or I might decide to read more. Apparently I’m not the only editor to take this approach. Noah Lukeman is a successful literary agent, [...]