Saturday, April 3, 2010


I just want to make a remark on the editing skills of professional editors.

Through high school, I majored in English. It was one of my highest marks and my teachers always commended me on my impeccable grammar. Now, either I lost that in the few years I was out of High School or my teachers were not as grammatically inclined as I first thought.

When I made the final edits to Book One before sending it to the editors, I felt fairly good about the quality of the grammar in there. I thought there would not be too many changes. Well, apparently I had thought wrong.

The longest I went without a mistake was about two pages in a document that was 256 pages long. There seemed to be something wrong with each sentence I wrote. Was it discouraging to receive it back with all those red marks? Oh very much so. Did I learn from it? Oh yes, I learned a lot.

One thing I learned was that being a professional editor must be a difficult job. That was one of my career picks a few years ago. It's not now. Another thing I learned was that every time a character spoke, it was a new paragraph. In the back of my mind I knew this but I don't write like that. Once I start editing book two, I will have to make a note of it.

Another thing I learned was that I need to re-study grammar. I don't want to make those editors' jobs any more difficult. Especially if it was said that I have very good grammar when it turns out I don't. I can't imagine what they have to edit day to day. Especially since grammar has been removed from what must be taught.

That has always bothered me. Don't get me wrong, I loved English. But, it wasn't about the language so much as it was: "Here, read this book and write an essay on it." I never learned about proper sentence structure, expletives (curse words) and other such finer points. I think we need that back. Especially now with the rise of text talking. Not that anyone is going to actually type out their words in a phone conversation (to those that do - big kudos to you) but at least they will know how to write when the time comes for it.

Good punctuation (and grammar) skills make a difference:
1) "A woman, without her man, is nothing."
2) "A woman: without her, man is nothing."

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