What’s The Most Dangerous Point in Editing?
When your eyes glaze over. When you skip over writing because it is so dull or complicated. You can’t edit if you aren’t reading.
I wrote and edited a great deal in the law. Both for lawyers and for a company that produced content for lawyer’s web sites.
It’s complex and dull stuff. Statutes and cases are filled with impenetrable text and obscure phrases and definitions. You find yourself skipping over writing when paragraphs are too dense and ugly. You want to move on to clearer, more open writing.
You can’t do that as an editor. Stop immediately as soon as you find yourself skipping. Go back to the dullest writing you can find.
The more complex the writing, the more you have to look at it for correctness. In these circumstances, read line by line, word by word. I mean this literally.
It’s here in these dense and blocky paragraphs that mistakes happen. If you don’t read a paragraph or if its jargon doesn’t make sense to you, it won’t make sense to a reader.