My goal as an editor is to maintain the voice of an author/brand while providing clarity to readers.
It is important to always read through a piece in its entirety once or twice before making any editorial changes. During my first read through, I take note of potential grammar and style adjustments needed in the writing.
Depending on the length of the writing and the time I have for an editing project, I will make a priority list based on the notes from my first read though. Priority lists help increase efficiency of an editing project and recognize certain grammar mistakes need to be attended to before others. The goal is to make the author shine.
I see the writer-editor partnership as a team. When I cannot make a change in an author’s writing without being too intrusive, then I will make a query. Queries are questions and comments sent to the author to address clarifications and changes that need to be made beyond my editorial jurisdiction.
When I send a query to the author, I present potential solutions, describe the reason a change needs to be made, or ask for permission to make a change based on the specific issue. All suggestions are to present author the in the best light possible and to improve the experience of a reader.
Editing for an organization:
Editing for an organization is different than editing for a single author, because an organization’s brand, tone, and professionalism needs to remain consistent (unless a conscious change in content strategy is being implemented). In this way, editing for organizations prioritizes the style guide of the organization above the voice of an individual author.
To effectively design, write, or edit for an organization, I complete a communications audit. In summary, a communications audit is analyzing the way an organization communicates internally and externally in different rhetorical situations (past and present). This review will help me gain a greater understanding of the tone, style, and formatting decisions an organization currently employs in order to maintain brand consistency and suggest improvements to reach the target audience.