Editing 101

Editing should be, especially in the case of old writers, a counseling rather than a collaborating task. The tendency of the writer-editor to collaborate is natural, but he should say to himself, How can I help this writer to say it better in his own style? and avoid How can I show him how I would write it, if it were my piece? –James Thurber

Thurber’s philosophy is one I subscribe to, not just for “old writers,” but for every writer. Excellent editing is notable for a refusal to call attention to itself, and editors who can improve a text without hacking it to pieces may just be the quietest heroes in publishing.

In this section of the site, you’ll find a guide to working with me, as well as a description of the different types of editing. If you’d like to read further, check out the Language Links page for more resources and my blog, The Style Guide, for thoughts on the practice of writing and editing. If you have a burning question you’d like to ask, submit it! I’d love to hear what you’re struggling with and wondering about.