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76 days update-Detours copy editing

February 16, 2011

Hello everyone,

We were heavy into Detours copyediting for awhile. So I thought I’d give you a little taste of how Detours copyediting works!

Our first session revolves around macro-copyediting.

Sources:

Do they have adequate number of sources?

Do we have any more questions for the sources?

Are the sources the best for the information provided?

Lede/nutgraph:

These will be edited throughout the three editing stages. On first draft we usually ask the writers to re work their existing leads if their lede is too generic. ( ie: Unique attraction XX is a gem hidden in the rolling hills of XX state.) Often if we ask the writer to change the focus of thier story their lede and nutgraph will change.

Focus/rearranging:

In this stage, we are also working on moving the best/most interesting sources, information to the front of the story. This might mean reordering the sources, adding subheads to a story etc.

Second Round…..Somewhere between Macro and Micro copy editing.

Sources:

Did the writer call back the sources?

Did the sources give us new information?

Is the new information still necessary to the story?

Changes:

Did the writer make all the changes to the story that we asked?

How did the changes affect the rest of the story?

Is there any more questions that arise because of the changes?

Story structure:

Often when we ask writer to change the layout of their story, some parts of their stories get discombobulated. So we double check to make sure there’s no repeating information, extraneousness information or misplaced information.

We also look at the story sentence by sentence to decide if the sentence needs to be refined, eliminated or supplemented with additional information

Third Round: Micro Editing!!!

Sentence Structure: We go sentence by sentence looking at sentence structure, word choice and grammar.

Lede/ending: We’ve been looking at these throughout the editing process, but in this stage were making final editing changes.

Title/sidebar ideas: We usually have the writers come up with title ideas, but we often tweak them. As for sidebar ideas we take these from information we cut from the story, terms that need to be defined, lists of events at an attraction etc

Hope this gives you a little insight into how magazine copyediting differs from other forms of copyediting.

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