Working with authors
In a workshop that I had attended on editing, an interesting point came up. Why are writers so touchy about their copy? I think for most writers, their writing is perfect. It is their voice and the editor wants to change it beyond recognition.
Now, how do we convince them that that’s not what we want to do. We want to help them make their voice clearer and better, so they can reach a wider audience.
Some points to keep in mind:
- Treat your authors with respect (they have written the paper after all)
- Empathise with the difficulties they face as they tackle language and grammar related issues (sometimes ideas can get lost in translation)
- Tolerate the idiosyncracies of the authors you work with… be kind when you comment
- Alert authors about anything, however small, that does not seem alright (they will thank you later)
- Provide detailed comments explaining why you have made certain changes
- Finally, speak in their voice, don’t make it yours.
In my next post, we will look at what editors look for in a document.