Saturday, 8 December 2012

Where Does Basic Editing End and Personal Preference Begin?



Today I had to write a fifty word biography about myself. It isn’t very many words, but it’s important and I wanted to get it right. 

Fifty words – it couldn’t be that hard, right?

Wrong. 

I spent a long time working on it. After a lot of drafts, I finally decided to get a friend to look at it, and we discussed it for a long time. She had some good suggestions, and I appreciated her feedback a lot, but I started to think about my title question. 

At one point she told me how she personally would phrase the biography. But how she would phrase it didn’t fit with me. It didn’t feel right. Basically, it was hard for me to determine whether that was simply because I was being stubborn and didn’t want to change my work, or whether it was merely a case of different writing styles.

I think this may be one of the hardest things about helping to edit somebody else’s work. What sounds right to you might not sound right to somebody else. How do you stop yourself from overstepping? Is there a line you cannot cross? 

It’s a tricky issue, and perhaps it’s something that can only be determined through practice. The main thing is not to effectively rewrite somebody’s work. However, that might be easier said than done. It’s an interesting issue to think about. 

What do you think about editing other people’s work? What would you have done, if you had been in my shoes?

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A final sidenote: I logged into Blogger today and found I had 2000 views. I know it might not seem like much, but I'm very thankful to everybody who follows Between The Grey, who comments and visits. I appreciate every single one of you! 

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