Writers and editors working togetherDecember 10, 2009
Most of the work I’ve done this past year has been technical editing, not technical writing. So I’ve seen documentation from the perspective of a pedantic and critical reader — and it’s been a revealing journey!
I think I’ve become a better writer as a result.
There’s nothing quite like picking up someone else for inconsistencies or punctuation, for example, to make you more aware of your own inconsistencies and punctuation errors. And it has forced me to consult dictionaries and style manuals and guides more closely, and to practice what I preach.
On that note, it’s interesting to see that there have been quite a few articles and blog posts recently on the relationship between writers and editors and what each can bring to the table, as well as how to work with each other to get the best document possible for the reader.
Here are some of those articles and blog posts:
- Working with a technical editor (Jean Hollis Weber): http://www.techwr-l.com/articles/writing/workingwithaneditor (this is an article from 2007, but the advice still applies)
- How to be an editor’s best friend — and take feedback (David A. Kennedy): http://www.fuelyourwriting.com/how-to-be-an-editor%E2%80%99s-best-friend-and-take-feedback/
- Five easy steps to be your own editor (Anna Goldsmith): http://www.copyblogger.com/edit-your-writing-2/
- Demonstrating the value of editing (Geoff Hart): http://www.stc-techedit.org/tiki-index.php?page=Demonstrating+the+value+of+editing
- Technical Writing: Writers vs Editors (John Kenn): http://blogs.msdn.com/johnkenn/archive/2005/06/12/428413.aspx
- And, from Purdue University, a checklist for reviewing your documentation: http://www.digitalparlor.org/fa08/clark1/node/271
[Links last checked December 2009]