Editor Edit Thyself!

I regret and apologize for the error in wording in the first poem from my Silence series, entitled “Pain”. It has been revised. I know I practically preach on this subject, but it only verifies my strong feelings that one can never truly edit and proofread one’s own writing.

In Humility, Deborah A. Bowman

Perfection in Editing

8 thoughts on “Editor Edit Thyself!

  1. I believe that the writer, unless a novice, is the best editor of his/her work. But I also believe in Murphy’s law–if it CAN go wrong, it will. As the saying goes, man makes plans, and God laughs! You’re only human, so cut yourself some slack.

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    1. Thank you. Actually it is a biological fact that what you write is engrained in your brain and your mind sees what it thinks is there, not always what the eye sees. I agree only the author can rewrite or revise their message or story. It’s the fresh pair of eyes theory that we read right over typos and errors. I guess we will agree to disagree … but only slightly.

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      1. You are right about ‘eye slippage,’ when our eyes slip past a glaring error. But spellcheck and grammar check should pick up typos. Some suggest reading it backwards.

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      2. Yes, that’s how we proofread weapon systems reports. Have to disconnect the eye and mind. Spell-check and grammar-check can help. I always say they’re a writer’s best friend or worst nightmare. As absolutely finite, if it makes a word, it stays, whether it makes sense or not. That’s why there’s so many misused “form and from”; “to, two, too”; “there, their. they’re”; etc. My favorite in technical reports as a baby editor, end of Vietnam era, was the simple transposition of two letters making “unclear” become “nuclear”! My first novel, LIVING IN A SHADOW, is about writers (“write about what you know”) and many of my little anecdotes made it into those pages. Write about life! I think we both do that!

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      3. Yes, indeed! When spell check 1st came onto the scene, I was horrified as a teacher, knowing it would be more a curse than a blessing. But it’s good if used as one of many tools. I abhor grammar checkers because they’re so primitive and often wrong. We use what we know. Imagine how hard it was for Medieval writers, when “i” and “j” were the same letter, as were “u” and “v.”

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      4. You and I are of one mind! I’m also an avid student of history. I imagine the Book of Knells and imagine how they made their parchment, cut their quills, mixed their colored ink from the earth, and drew every single letter to perfection! And their were less errors in manuscripts than there are now.

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