27 January 2010

What Do Editors Do All Day, Part Two - Structural Editing

Herewith, the second in our occasional series What Do Editors Do All Day. You can find the first in the series, our essay on copyediting, here. Today we want to talk about Structural Editing.

If we were structural editing this occasional series, we might ask, 'Why didn't you begin this series with Structural Editing - given that it precedes copyediting in the linear process of producing a book?' To which we might reply to ourselves, 'You make a valid point, but it just works better this way. Can we keep it as is, please?' To which we would then say, 'Right you are. Carry on. But can I just draw your attention to something else over here...' Etc, etc, you get the idea.

Part Two: Structural Editing


Again, thanks to all the original, unknown-to-us authors of these lolcats (and lolbears and lolruses lolephant seals**).

*Actually, none of us can ever remember suggesting a prologue - it mostly seems to work in the reverse. But the point stands.** (UPDATE) Thanks for the heads-up, Anonymous commenter! This brings up a lesson that is all too easy to learn the hard way: if you lose an author's trust by making silly mistakes, like mixing up your flippered marine mammals, it's very hard to convince them you know what you are talking about on the big stuff. Perhaps our structural note should have read: 'Dear author, it is not clear how your protag shape-shifts from walrus to elephant seal and back again - seemingly at the drop of a bukkit.' For further reading on this subject, I recommend www.walrusbucketsaga.com


phill said...

Proving once more that LOLcats can be applied to any discipline for epic win. Very funny article guys. (:

Natalie Hatch said...

I do remember a Goodies episode with a giant pussycat attacking Big Ben.

Anonymous said...

Too funny. One thing, though- that's an Elephant Seal, not a walrus. :)

The Alien Onions said...

@anonymous - Ooo, thank you! Post now updated to reflect this important piece of information

Lynette Benton said...

What a lucid post. Thank you! How can I see Part 1?

Anonymous said...

Great blog, just discovered, thank you!!! (but, accidently???... we generally use accidentally...)

The Alien Onions said...

Dear Anonymous 23 July - We're not sure WHAT you're talking about.

*Puts hands in pockets* *Whistles unconcernedly* *Strolls away* *Rounds corner and makes made dash to edit post*