July 22, 2013

Some principles of editing and content development

I edit a lot. In particular:

Editing and writing of course are based on similar principles, even though the processes are different. So let’s discuss what some of those principles might be.

*Actually, not everything Linda writes fits into the “romance” category. But the first books she’s (re)issuing do. And the biggest awards she’s won — a RITA, some RITA runners-up, and so on — are romance-specific.

My two core principles of writing or editing, almost irrespective of content type, are:

That first principle breaks down to: 

Note: In a late edit, I reduced the previous two bullet points from 75 words down to 49.

As for avoiding mistakes:

I’m not going to say much about the actual writing or editing process — that’s too dependent upon type of content, organizational rules (where applicable), and personal style. But one point is worth making even so. A core rule of software development says that it’s far better to find a bug at design time than after implementation. More generally, you want to find errors as early in the development cycle as possible. The same principle applies to writing — or any other form of “content development” — if we phrase it simply as:

Flaws should be remedied as early as possible.

It’s worth significantly changing your content-creation policies, if the result is earlier detection and correction of messaging snafus.


3 Responses to “Some principles of editing and content development”

  1. Online booksellers and their “eventually correct” data | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on August 24th, 2013 3:13 am

    […] I’ve become involved in the world of online book publishing through Linda Barlow, who among other credentials: […]

  2. Mark Stacey on November 3rd, 2013 3:12 am

    Completely off topic: but there is a running technique for running in the dark. Instead of a standard stride, you lift your knees high up, forward, and then bring your feet straight down. It means that your foot is moving forward only high above the ground so you don’t trip, also means it is moving straight down when you put it down, allowing you to run on different levels without seeing them.

    Takes about 3 times as much energy as running, but can be done in the dark 🙂

  3. Curt Monash on November 3rd, 2013 3:32 am


    Thank you, but:

    Forests contain trees; dense forests contain lots of trees; unseen trees can impede progress in quite unpleasant ways. 🙂

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