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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.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

DEs Who Love Rushes

Our fourth entry in the DE History Project comes to us from Spain. Christine reminds us that not all DEs are the “calm, thorough, steady people” that we may assume them to be. There are DEs with those traits, to be sure, but there are also those, like her, who prefer the excitement of the rush schedule.

In my experience, these “high-energy” editors tend to focus on the Big Picture, helping authors to straighten out their narratives and arguments but leaving the minor lapses for copyeditors to mop up. These editors remind me of script doctors called in to “save” Hollywood films at the eleventh hour. They thrive on pressure; they can midwife the “instant book” that a publisher requires in time for Election Day or some other major event.

Christine’s entry is a valentine to the work of freelance editing. She reminds me why I got into the business. An in-house manager now, I’m a bit jealous of her, and not only because of her access to all those delicious Spanish dishes.

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