I am fed up with the idea of getting back to blogging for a week or two and drop the idea because of hectic work schedule and demands in life. Hence this time, I am not going to promise or commit that I’d write regularly.
Whenever I think of making a comeback, I start with a guest post. This time, I am here to present a wonderful post #OnEditing by Dhivya Balaji
. Thank you so much, Dhivya. You are making the day more special.
It’s a special day to me. It’s my wife Vidhya’s birthday. Happy Birthday to you, my wifey.
Whenever I talk about book editing, it is always with a mixture of pride, amazement and utter incredulity that I recall some of the projects I’ve worked on. The best of them have taught me well, and I’ve also learned some things from the worst of them. It’s more about the collective experience than anything else, and in my relatively short stint as an editor, I’ve had my share of experiences.
The value that editing adds to a book is seen best in the way the book is organised. Dispelling common misconceptions that editing is just about correcting mistakes in spelling and grammar, there have been instances where editing has beautified the structure of the book and brought it to its final form. There have also been times when a book needed very little correction in terms of language but needed a lot of cutting and reorganisation in terms of the story itself.
Every project is a learning experience, and every book enriches the writer in the editor. A book is a brain child of an author who’s spent hours working on it, and a good editor is someone who is equally passionate about the book and finding out how best it can be presented to readers.
Therefore mutual respect between the author and the editor is one of the most essential requirements for a book to turn out well. An editor must always keep in mind that they have been trusted with the author’s creative genius, and hours of work for the book that was completed amidst loads of self criticism. An author needs to remember that the editor is paid to find and correct errors so the readers would be able to enjoy the story to its fullest.
Like all other professions, editing, too, has its share of highs and lows, and my most memorable editing project was a combination of both. It was with that book where I learnt that many authors go through depressing periods of self doubt and criticism that would be called a ‘writer’s block’. And that same book proved that once the author is over that block, the output can exceed the wildest expectations.
Often misunderstood, the disagreements regarding book editing come in the form of not understanding that there are various types of editing, and no two books can be dealt with similarly. Editing is a broad classification that includes other variety of services that start with proofreading and go on to levels like developmental editing. In each of these levels the amount of influence that the editor has on the book will vary, and the shape of the output will also differ.
In the best interests of the book, the mistakes, comments, suggestions and ideas should be perused carefully back and forth. Each suggestion or correction should be validated based on how the end product should be affected. Having a clear understanding of what editing is, and how beneficial it is for the book, is most important for every piece of work that’s published.