The file was in a right hot mess. Cue editing stage sub-1: panic. The publisher wanted end notes created using Word’s built-in End Note feature. Numbering was to restart with each chapter. The author submitted this:
One of the signs of maturity in an editor is the realization that she imposes different sets of “rules” depending on the client’s preference. There are few indisputable rules, the editor realizes, as she is exposed to more and more sets of preferences.
Canadianizing a text often means converting measurements to the metric system. But it’s not as simple as plugging “6 ft to m” into Google. Converters are accurate, but they’re more like transliterations than translations.
First, outside of technical materials, measurements are usually imprecise. It’s often more appropriate to round a conversion. Six feet becomes two metres, not 1.83 m.
Whether the material in front of you is so engaging that you forget to use your Editor’s Eye, or you can’t see it straight anymore after seeing it a hundred times, there are occasions when we all could use some strategies to make it to the end of the manuscript.
A checklist can help you be efficient, track your progress, and help you focus when your mood or your project is not making that easy.
I make a new checklist for every project—especially when I will be processing several files (chapters) through the same process. Running through a list of checks—rather than working linearly through a manuscript—can also help you see the words in a new way. This is particularly helpful when you have already done several types of edits on a document and are becoming too familiar with the words to see them for what they really are.