What would you like?

All right. I was told by an acquaintance today that my site is “cobwebby” (which I knew). I’ve had more than 100 hits in the last hour to that frosting recipe I posted, and while I don’t mind the traffic, I’d rather be getting hits for my publishing information. I know I’ve been awful about blogging, but it seems like I’ve pretty much covered the basics about copyediting, and particulars are…well, delicate, in this business.

So. What would you guys like to hear about, that I can post without talking about specific projects? (Or, if you’re an author I’ve worked on and don’t mind me talking about a specific project, let me know and I’ll run an idea by you.) I’d like to get back to blogging, but I’m a bit bored with personal stuff and am coming up blank on the professional. Give me a hand or drop me a line: my email is just my first name at my site. I promise I’ll choose something to post about.

8 thoughts on “What would you like?”

  1. Commas, dashes, semi-colons, colons, and ellipses — threat or menace?

    Or, a bit more seriously… I recently saw a butchering edit job of something that had me going back through the original manuscript and screaming things like, “What idiot *inserts* a comma-splice by changing a dash into a comma? So you’re allergic to dashes? No! You just want to put in your OWN dashes and mine are in the way?”

    Therefore, I’m thinking about punctuation and how it can be mis-used. I know how much I love my dashes, and try to avoid over-use of them, but not every statement can have the dash just turned into a comma, or a period.

    …um… Riff on punctuation, if you felt inclined? Ways of helping an author get away from overuse of the beloved dash, while still preserving the feel of it, say? What you’d do if someone handed you a manuscript that had each dash used (reasonably) correctly — but there were just too blankity-blank many of them?

    (Note: this is a suggestion, and I hardly feel entitled to a response if it doesn’t grab you or provide a springboard to talk about stuff.)

  2. You may have covered this awhile ago (way back when I first started reading), but I’d love to hear more about the creative relationship you share with your authors. How involved or not involved is your copyediting? etc.

  3. The Deanna Hoak novel that I’ve been waiting for *taps foot*. I’d like to hear how the writer brain and the copyeditor brain mesh, and how they collide. I have some theories about how my editor friends (who have turned to freelance writing) struggle with their editor brains in effort to write creatively.

  4. I’d like to hear about how a person can get into the world of copyediting. What college degree is preferred, what kind of jobs you should get experience in before you become a copyeditor, etc. I’m in a community college right now as an English major and will be transferring to a university but I’m completely at a loss on how to become a copyeditor. A post about this would make me very happy and possibly ease my stressed mind.

  5. While frosting recipes are a big draw :-) your unique place in blogging is as a copyeditor. Listening to the daily work, what you saw wrong with the current work you are reviewing, what you saw right, how much effort you are putting into one because you see such potential, etc. It is great info for us budding writers and fun to follow along with the process and learn about someone specialty.

    On the other hand, blogging is not a single-topic forum (at least I don’t think it should be) and posts about recipes, frustrations at the world, heartwarming events, etc. all should be posted if you feel like sharing them! We are your (virtual) friends and acquaintances and as you know, when you go out with someone and all they talk about is work…

  6. One of the things you are passionate about is language and the differences between different forms of “English”. You also get excited about the subtle differences in meanings of words to different cultures. Why not tell us more?
    John

  7. Acquaintance?! Bah. What does a guy have to do to get the “friend” upgrade around here?

    But that brings me to my topic request: the “interrobang“.

    I like to use them, usually with the question mark first, followed by the exclamation point, because I think the lack of a punctuation mark that adequately covers the instance of a shouted or excited question weakens prose, and the interrobang is a solution embraced by common culture that has become perfectly acceptable even in polite company.

    I know that some editors, however, do not agree, saying that it is the equivalent of putting :) in your prose, and it should be relegated to informal IM speak and not a proper full-length novel.

    What’s your take on the topic, o queen of copyediting?

  8. How do you handle an author’s idiosyncracies when they fly in the face of common usage and even intelligibility? For example, abandoning commas. I’m not talking about a misuse of commas but a clear preference not to use them in places. What if they have a habit of using dangling modifiers, so much so that it is almost a style? What if their sentences are “verbal”–they only make sense if they are spoken aloud with the right emphasis–and really need to be rephrased. This last is a pet peeve of mine, particularly because I see it so often. I hate having to read sentences over again to understand them.

    Do you have an exchange with the author, just go with it the best you can, or what?

    Also, ditto on the “getting into copyediting” discussion. I’m just starting out and anticipate a lot of business documents in my future. I would really like to do fiction, but I have no idea how to get started in that.

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