Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When Editing Rules Your Life.

I'm only three chapters away from finishing the edits on the latest draft of the Mapmaker's Apprentice. Editing is always a hard slog, and this has certainly been no exception, even though it's more big-picture stuff than the nitty gritty sentence structure type things that I'm yet to face.

One of the things I find once I start editing is that, once I have those "editing glasses" on, it's really hard to take them off again. I find I can't read a paper, a document, a book or even a road-sign without subconsciously looking for mis-placed commas or bad grammar or whatever. It's a bit like when you've been driving all day and you go to bed and all you can see is the road winding away in front of you; the repetitiveness burns into your brain.

Someone who is not wearing editing glasses is unlikely to see the world the same way you do. I offer up proof below.

This is a sign I saw on my walk into work this morning. I took the pic and showed it to two people in the office, and neither of them could pick anything out of place. One of them, who happens to be Chinese, went to great pains to read the Mandarin script to see if that's what I was talking about, which I thought was very flattering because I can no more read Mandarin than I can play a piano with my elbow. Neither of them picked anything wrong until I explicitly pointed it out.

I was pretty surprised, but I guess it's proof they're not deep in the editing process at the moment.

What about you -- can you see anything interesting in the pic? Do you have your editing glasses on?


  1. I'm just about done with this round of edits and feel like the editing glasses have been fused to my head. The extra "N" just about poked me in the eye. Thank goodness for the editing glasses :)

  2. The extra "N" just about poked me in the eye. - ha! Yep, it jumped out at me too.
    I agree, Peter, I wish I could quit seeing these things sometimes too. Every time I read the local newspaper I want to run down to their office and demand a job as a line-editor!

  3. @Jonathan - good luck with it all! Looking forward to hearing how it goes.
    @Liz - I read somewhere that newspapers are cutting back editing staff because of the decrease in sales (due to online news). It's probably an across-the-board thing.