Editing week, Level 4: How to love your copy editor

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Like all writers, I have a fraught relationship with copy editors. I give them my perfect prose and then it’s pick, pick, pick. But I can’t live without one. Today: how to value copyeditors and your own prose, all at the same time. I’ve taken you through the whole editing process this week: idea development, … Continued

Mary Norris, Comma Queen, and my fraught love for copyeditors

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I vastly enjoyed Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, the memoir of New Yorker copyeditor Mary Norris. The pas de deux that the writer and editor dance together is lively and invigorating, because both want nothing more than for the writing to be perfect. But it’s a fraught affair, because your partner’s job is … Continued

Copyeditors and bullshit removal

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I love copyeditors. I just wish they could go further. Over the years, the many copyeditors I’ve worked with have flagged my embarrassing misspellings, taught me obscure grammar rules, and saved me from looking stupid.  We bond over our Oxford commas. And I pride myself on creating “clean” prose — drafts that are ready for copyedit … Continued