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Selfish Editing Practice


Over the past few days I’ve been editing my partner’s draft for his second year thesis update for his PhD (in material engineering), which may possible also be a publishable paper in itself.

While I may not understand the content of his work too clearly, I’m here to give his work a read through to help with his English; the flow of his sentences, colloquial words, grammar, continuity errors and typos, for he has others on hand to aid him with the content.

I help him because I am pleased to help, but I must confess there is a slight presence of an ulterior motive. There is something in it for me – more so than a foot rub.

I get editing practice. I get practice approaching a piece of work as objectively as possible and to hone in on my editing skills (and positive criticism skills) for my own purposes and for my own work. So hopefully after reading and editing more and more of his work, I’ll get better at approaching my own, and being able to edit more objectively than I am at present.

Soon I’ll come to edit my first novel (my first is floating around in the magical ether if the agent’s world waiting to be picked up).

When it came to editing my first, I just printed off the whole thing, and started to edit. But next time I’ll print it out a few chapters at a time, and concentrate on just them, before being overwhelmed by the entire manuscript, all in one go, and I’ll see which method is better for me.

It may turn out that my initial attempt at editing my work was wrong….but I’m only human and make mistakes.

The important thing is to learn from them.

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