Will an editor take care capitalization and punctuation errors?
Should an author have a good grasp on capitalization and punctuation before submitting a piece to an editor? I have a student who has written two books. He is a wonderful creative writer, but his capitalization and punctuation usage are horrendous. It is tedious to get through his writing. He thinks an editor will just do it for him. I told him that more than likely the editor would throw it in the trash. Anyone with some experience in this area have an answer I could pass on to this talented kid?
No, a sub will, and he won't be very happy with you if he has to, nor will the editor. They both want to do as little work as possible dealing with your MS, despite the stories that within each editor and sub there lurks a frustrated writer. If an editor slips just enough of the MS out of the envelope to see the first par, and sees lots of work to do, it will come winging back with a rejection.
Yes, absolutely! Part of being an excellent author of any particular work is quality control of your own material. Any piece that is lacking in poor spelling, punctuation, capitalizing, and grammar reflects badly on the author, no matter how "brilliant" he or she is. Such mistakes aren't called "blemishes" for nothing. It's like having a beautiful or a handsome face that's covered with acne.
Also, editors are often inundated with tons and tons of manuscripts filled with potential talent, so sending a manuscript loaded with punctuation, grammatical, and capitalization errors will only make their jobs easier; that is, to weed out the talent who puts in as much care in the quality and appearance of their work as well as the story itself.
In a past life, I sat on the other side of the editorial desk. There were dozens of manuscripts that never made it through because of spelling, punctuation and grammar. I would suggest he turn on the auto-correct features in his word processing package and hire a proof-reader.
First thing our Creative Writer teachers tell us- proof read, proof read, proof read. First impressions are everything and if you're already making things hard on the editor with bad grammar, punctuation or formatting, you can't hope for them to give you the chance your writing may deserve. It will make things a lot easier on everyone if you re-read your stuff yourself and use spellcheck. Sure, it's a pain and it may slow down the flow of your words. But it's worth it if it means you'll be taken more seriously when it comes to submitting things for publishing. As far as books go, editors want your copy to be as near-perfect as possible when you send it off for the first time. They aren't paid to go through every typo, but to check for the few that you somehow missed on the 17th re-read, and give suggestions on much more niggly but important issues in the readability and quality of your work.
If you found it tedious to get through his writing, an editor will feel the same way.
Part of being an excellent writer is having a mastery of proper capitalization, punctuation, grammar and spelling. Without those necessary factors, I don't care how creative a writer you are, you are not "wonderful."
I have never worked or served as an official editor............I simply can not tell you of their specific job duties.............I just do not know.....
But, as an avid reader................I read misprints with a frightening frequency......and I hear the " grammatically incorrect" voicings of our news casters.......often enough, that I want to hold THEM accountable, for the way that our collective youngsters, .........slaughter.......the language.
Your writing should be readable.
WHO are you writing to? Those who are educated and can read?
Or those, who struggle to do so?
Your story, your market............and your call.
I, for one, may not reach every single mark...........but I will not accept being " dumbed down".
Your story, your market and your call.
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