Why Copy Editing?

Author Holly Robinson writes on her blog:

...a copy editor is someone who takes out her bright lamp, microscope, and fine-toothed comb. She nit-picks through each one of your pages, catching time transitions that don’t make sense, erroneous spellings, accent marks if one of your characters happens to speak a foreign language, word repetitions, name changes or hair color changes you forgot you made, etc. In other words, the copy editor is a fierce, mistake-seeking hound, nosing around in every dark corner of every paragraph to make sure you get things right.

Thank God.

I would not have predicted that copy editing would appeal to me, or that I would make my living from it.

Edited Image 2013-12-9-10:38:31

But here's what I've learned: Copyediting is an outlet for an otherwise annoying and unavoidable attention to (or fixation on) detail. You get tremendous gain from that specific personality tic that means you spot a flaw in patterned textiles from a mile away, or have an automatic reaction to such lingual indescretions as, "you may give it to Susan or myself" or "irregardless of the facts...."

Apples do not fall far from trees. I was raised by a scorpio, one who upon hearing, "Mommie, I don't feel good," would correct, "You mean I don't feel well."

Copy editing is like hunting for treasure. Or putting together an elaborate puzzle. Or breaking a code. You look for missing pieces, connect the dots, stitch text smoothly, and most satisfyingly, find the errors hiding in plain sight. That is why I love it.

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