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I am an editor at the University of California Press and author of the first full-length handbook ever published on the subject of developmental editing.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Blog as Brainstorm

The fact that I find myself writing a blog is ironic. I have never commented on a post in another blog, and I have greeted the advent of this new form with a pronounced lack of enthusiasm. After all, blogs often exhibit the flaws of manuscripts that require developmental editing: they tend to lack organizational structure, offer opinions without supportive evidence, and reduce complex topics to sound bytes.

Recently, I aired these prejudices before a class of aspiring DEs. One of the students, herself a professional teacher of writing, set me straight. She described how her blog engages her students in brainstorming for writing topics. Doh! My DE handbook often advises the DE and author to brainstorm for key elements of the revision plan: main thesis statements, working titles, narrative strategies, expository strategies, and so on. Thanks to Leslie, I have seen the light.

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