Cussedness Corner

"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane

Rules for editing fiction


I am trying to put together some rules for editing fiction that can be handed out to prospective editors at Daverana Enterprises.

I fumbled with it at first, and then started looking for things that others have said about the process.

The first thing that needs to be done is to read the book through completely to get an overall sense of it.  At the same time, you have to keep a list of the characters, place names, descriptions, and any peculiar word choices of the writer.

And I stumbled upon this blog and an excellent post.

Editors and copy editors, even with the best of intentions, can make a mess of a book and destroy the author’s vision.  This is especially true in the case of genre fiction, where the author’s vision may turn upon one or many unique concepts.

Many genre authors, especially in fantasy and sf, create their own words.  The word is defined and then applied throughout the manuscript.

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One comment on “Rules for editing fiction

  1. CritGit
    April 28, 2009

    I have tried to read through and not do anything but can’t resist when I see things that need fixing.

    BUT I do usually wait on how things will turn out before making decisions, or even giving my opinion on it. Often I’ll note things down and go back.
    Fortunately I seem to pick stuff up quickly though and get a sense of how things go.

    My issue with reading, then editing would be that the first reactions are important and often what a reader goes by.
    Even if things work out eventually, you need to pay attention to the path there as well.

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Janrae Frank

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