Skip to content


Club Meeting 5th October 2011

Catherine Lang’s Editing Presentation and Workshop
‘Well a huge thank you to Catherine who gave us a grate Knight yesterday and I will be forever in her debt for those wonderful editing tits.’
Seriously though – (and I’d better not make any more spelling blunders) Catherine made editing a fun experience. Her knowledge and enjoyment were catching. The exercise where we were challenged to check the facts of various statements highlighted that as writers and readers we should not take the written word as gospel. (Unless you are reading the Bible of course.) Who would have thought we would be huddled over reference books on a wet and windy Wednesday night and actually enjoying ourselves?
The difference a good proofread, edited copy makes cannot be understated – is it bin or consideration? If we cannot be bothered to check and correct our own work then why should we expect magazine Editors to do it for us? Therefore Catherine’s second exercise of the evening gave us the opportunity to edit a short passage regarding Hororata, a small New Zealand village and its lightening struck cattle. See what you learn at Ayr Writers’ Club!

So what else did we glean from the evening?

That spelling is only a tiny part of editing.
When stating facts – they must be correct or our readers will soon let us know.
Some publishers use their own House Style which they may encourage a writer to use. But (and yes we are allowed to use ‘but’ at the start of a sentence) remember when not using a House Style then the trick is to be consistent with capitals, numbers, dates etc, otherwise you will drive your reader mad with irritating changes throughout the text. Yes Michael, a fact you pointed out where one of your novels featured a dog at the beginning and somehow it no longer existed halfway through the book could be termed as a lack of consistency.
Read the manuscript slowly: edit in short bursts: read out loud: try changing the look of your document: check the wordcount is correct: check grammar and puctuation.
And last but not least, please remember the ‘widows and orphans’. All donations gratefully received.
Fiona (Fiz) Atchison

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *