Anyway, I thought that seeing as I'd finished university for the year, I should probably get the re-cap of the final Writing Spaces lecture out here. In our final lecture, we were visited by some of this year's editors of Verandah, Deakin's annual student-run literature and art journal. They shared some of their experiences with us and gave us some advice on editing not just our own work, but also editing the work of others.
There are a few different stages of editing, including structural/content editing, copyediting, and proofreading. The last two are checking for consistency, especially of spelling and punctuation. Editors need to be well-read and have good literary and writing etiquette skills.
The Verandah editors shared a few of their own experiences from their year on the journal's editing team. Being a part of the editing team wasn't just about editing for them, because they also had to take care of the business side of things. The Verandah team had to handle financing, distribution, production, design, and marketing. This is where I should mention that the Verandah editing team consists of a bunch of students in the third year of the same course that I am currently undertaking, which generally doesn't focus on such business skills, presenting them with a new challenging experience. Verandah is run by third year students of the Professional and Creative Writing major every year, so I will most definitely be applying for a position for the 2015 edition.
Of course, there was editing to be done. The team at Verandah followed the Australian Style Manual when editing and had to learn to work with the writers of accepted submissions to negotiate edits and get pieces to fit into the overall style of the journal.
The guest speakers also gave a word of advice for writers. Writers need to be able to separate themselves from their writing in order to edit. I think a good way of doing this is to have some time between completing the draft and starting to edit. There are two reasons for this. 1) A break from the piece will allow you to read with fresh eyes that don't automatically correct mistakes without acknowledging their incorrectness. 2) You won't take criticism from yourself and other people so personally and you'll find it easier to listen to, accept, and consider criticism.
I could go on about editing and my editing processes, but I will save it for a later post.
How do you feel about editing? Do you have any tips or tricks to share? Also, who else is doing NaNoWriMo? Tell me about your plans for the month of writing.