March 19, 2014

Mandatory editing: Working and reworking BROKEN into shape

Redaction icon designed by Dan Hetteix from The Noun Project collection

If BROKEN hadn’t been edited, it would never have been published. Editing takes writing and makes it more cohesive.

In an earlier post in this series about how this book was made, note-taking and clustering were used to identify the chapter names. These methods were also used to generate content for the book, using material written and collected at various times, over time.

Together with my co-writer, I worked to arrange and re-arrange the parts into a coherent sequence. This was done through writing—the glue that bonds material accumulated over time. If this process constituted the final writing of BROKEN, it would be absent of a fresh mind, with a fresh pair of eyes, in the form of an editor.

Lisa Hazen(1) edited BROKEN. She freshened the book’s manuscript by doing the following:
  1. Challenging what didn’t make sense and pose questions or recommendations
  2. Sharpening the clarity of the prose and making adjustments
  3. Spotting misspellings and grammar mistakes—correcting them (on the spot)
Nothing was dismissed to help make the manuscript better in wording, in construction, in tone. Lisa reviewed each successive revision of the book’s manuscript for three rounds of total editing.

Receiving each edited version of the manuscript brought relief. At the same time, it brought anxiety, but feeling anxious to find out what Lisa filtered, coupled with the eagerness to get the book done, turned into a feeling of satisfaction. This was the kind of satisfaction that only an editor could give: the proof of writing improved!

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Thank you so much, Lisa, for editing BROKEN!

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“To write is human, to edit is divine.”
—Stephen King, Author

(1) I met Lisa via her husband Shawn, who makes typographic illustrations for my series Creative Roles.

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This is the eighth post, after the launch of BROKEN, that reflects on how this book was made. More to come in this series about aspects related to writing and self-publishing. Read the previous write-up: Spending time making BROKEN.

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BROKEN: Navigating the ups and downs of the circus called work is available as both an eBook and PDF.

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