The wonderful editoresses at Allen and Unwin have let us draw on their collective wisdom to answer the question: What Do Editors Do All Day? Check out their fantastic blog Alien Onion, where this series first appeared.
If we were structural editing this occasional series, we might ask, ‘Why didn’t you begin this series with Structural Editing – given that it precedes copyediting in the linear process of producing a book?’ To which we might reply to ourselves, ‘You make a valid point, but it just works better this way. Can we keep it as is, please?’ To which we would then say, ‘Right you are. Carry on. But can I just draw your attention to something else over here…’ Etc, etc, you get the idea.
Part Two: Structural Editing
Again, thanks to all the original, unknown-to-us authors of these lolcats (and lolbears and
lolruses lolephant seals**).
*Actually, none of us can ever remember suggesting a prologue – it mostly seems to work in the reverse. But the point stands.** (UPDATE) Thanks for the heads-up, Anonymous commenter! This brings up a lesson that is all too easy to learn the hard way: if you lose an author’s trust by making silly mistakes, like mixing up your flippered marine mammals, it’s very hard to convince them you know what you are talking about on the big stuff. Perhaps our structural note should have read: ‘Dear author, it is not clear how your protag shape-shifts from walrus to elephant seal and back again – seemingly at the drop of a bukkit.’ For further reading on this subject, I recommend www.walrusbucketsaga.com
Thanks, Alien Onions!
The Centre is running the Essentials of Editing starting 19th of April.