Monday, January 6, 2014

A Step in the Write Direction--January 6, 2014--Editing hints

A Step in the Write Direction
January 6, 2014

Update: I’m brain dead today. It seemed like January 1 was just another day; didn’t take time to make resolutions (haven’t done those from last year!) or set goals (still working on last year’s, although I did reach a couple—sold a couple of books). Too many hospitalizations and illnesses, and lost too many friends. There! Now you know I’m human, and like a lot of you. But I am looking forward to the New Year and know, that whatever happens, God will be there with me!

Thought for the Day: I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied, “Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be better to you than light and safer than a known way” (“The Gate of the Year,” Minnie Louise Haskins, 1908).

Laugh for the Day: A California scientist has computed that the average human being eats 16 times his or her own weight in an average year, while a horse eats only eight times its weight. This all seems to prove that if you want to lose weight, you should eat like a horse.

Song for the Day: (paraphrased)
They gave me the credit, but they’re all wrong,
I hold the pen, but God gives the song.
            (On Joey and Rory Feek DVD)

Writer’s Tips:
·         A shortcut I learned this week while editing a manuscript written by a blind lady who inadvertently put a lot of text in upper case—all caps. In my Word 2007, I clicked on  the down triangle next to the black Aa (above Font) and where it says “Change Case,” I clicked on “lower case” and it took out all the caps (except the initial cap to begin a sentence).

·         Words I found misused in a recent editing job: reign/rein; lead/led; lightening/ lightning; maize/maze; vice/vise; stationary/stationery (remember, stationery – e for “envelope”); shuddered/shuttered; desert/dessert.

Some other hints:

·         Only one space after a period. I know this goes against earlier rules, but that was when we used typewriters. Putting two spaces can lead to extra spaces between sentences when the manuscript is typeset at the publisher’s. If you’ve done this—accidentally or on purpose—you can do a search and replace. In the “Find” line, click the space bar twice, and in the “Replace” line, click it on once. (I do this after finishing every manuscript as many times I put in the extra space accidentally.)

·         Don’t justify the right-hand margin.

·         Decide how you want to type your thoughts. You can put them in quotes or italics, but be consistent.

·         On dates, you don’t need a comma between a month and year (i.e., January 2014), but you need one if you have a month AND date (i.e., January 6, 2014), and if it’s in the middle of a sentence, you need a comma after the year (i.e., January 5, 2014, is the fifth day of the year).

·         Also, re: capitalizing the fist letter of Deity pronouns, either is okay  (i.e., Him/his; He/he; You/you; Your/you) but, again, be consistent. (This is where the ABC sheet comes in handy when I’m editing as I can make a note as to which the author uses.) When using Scripture or another quotation, use whatever that version or author uses. Whenever I see a verse the author says is from the King James Version and I see these pronouns with initial caps, I know the author hasn’t copied it exactly as KJV doesn’t use initial caps, while many of the newer versions do.

Hope these hints help. They will show the editor you have done your homework and you’re a professional!

 Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich
 "A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

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