It’s tough being an editor. While every media outlet should have one as part of the various steps an article must go through before it is published, the editor must endure a minor amount of hate. It’s only natural: writers are protective of their work and it’s taken creative energy to see it blossom, so to have that ‘stamped out’ by an editor for the sake of style or tone, well… that hardly seems fair, does it?
But the truth is the editing process is integral for clovio to maintain its laser focus on quality, since it helps to enhance the high level of writing that our hardworking, expert writers have already begun.
The First Steps of Editing
After opening an article for the first time, the editor will check the instructions that had been set – particularly important for blogs where the topic is less strict – to keep in mind while reading. Beyond that a quick scroll through the length of the article is handy to help understand how it has been laid out and therefore the sort of writing to expect. Is it a tips-based article with shorter paragraphs, or a more in-depth look at one topic in particular? Are the headers consistently spaced out, or are there huge blocks of text that will need breaking up? Editing online content isn’t only about the words, after all.
Basic Tools an Editor Needs
It wouldn’t be enough to just make the edits and cast the article out into the world. As much as we resent it, all good writers want to get feedback; we’re always striving to improve. That’s why it’s important to utilize the software’s track changes and commenting functions, to highlight the changes made and offer insight behind why they were made or provide advice for future work.
Being able to switch views between the edits made, a simpler view without coloring for better focus, and back to the original version are also incredibly useful. Having a notepad to hand helps, too, for writing down points that need following up on during a feedback meeting.
But perhaps the most integral tool to an editor, more advantageous than any of these, is a hot cup of fresh coffee.
The Initial Focus
The intro is absolutely the most important part of any article. Sadly, internet users have incredibly short attention spans and if you’re not able to grasp someone’s attention within the first few lines, then you might as well not finish the article – because they certainly won’t. For that reason more time is spent editing the intro than anything else, sometimes reworking entire lines so that it is able to be as punchy, attention-grabbing, and clear about the upcoming article as possible.
Staying True to the Original Writer
Every writer has their own preferences and their own style. Sometimes this might be particular turns of phrase they like to use or a unique tone of voice. This point of the process shouldn’t be about removing that at all, or controlling it. Instead it’s about carefully spotting stylistic preferences and maintaining those, while making edits to grammar, punctuation, or structure to match the overall requirements of the article and clovio’s own style guides.
However, there are times where a writer can rely on certain phrases a little too often. These ‘crutches’ are sort of like a comfort zone and when working with writers over long periods of time, it’s good to draw their attention to these. Everyone should step outside of their comfort zone from time to time.
Not everyone here at clovio is native English and though our international workforce all have a very good grasp of the language – it is primarily what our communication is with – there are sometimes issues where changes need to be made to make the text sound a little more natural to an English reader. This might be a confused translation from the writer’s own native train of thought or simply readjusting something so it ‘feels’ more natural. These tweaks are often minimal, but they’re still incredibly valuable.