December 1999: What Does An Editor Do?

Editing James Snyder’s 650-page book involved many different sets of eyes and ears, such as looking at and listening to style and syntax in content, being alert to omitted words, checking mechanics, and conferring with the typographer about which style tags to add in which sections. Thorough editing requires making several passes through the same material, each time with a particular focus.

James D. Snyder has been a writer, editor and publisher of national newsmagazines for more than 30 years. He has read all of the ancient sources and visited ruins throughout the Mediterranean world in researching All God's Children. Snyder is also a Presbyterian elder. See an excerpt at http://www.bookmasters.com/marktplc/00403.htm

Editor’s Change

Why It’s Needed

Original "…in the steep valleys that rung the south and eastern perimeters"

Revised: "…in the steep valleys that ring the south and eastern perimeters"

  1. Although the simple past tense of "ring" is "rang" (past perfect is "had rung"), the narrator is speaking in the present tense.
  2. The geography did not change significantly between 31 and 71 AD, the period of time the narrator describes.
Original: "…a circular ruin that might have been a arena or warehouse that was bombed in the war and never rebuilt."

Revised: "…a circular ruin that might have been an arena or warehouse that was bombed in World War II and never rebuilt."

  1. Use "a" before all words beginning with a consonant sound; use "an" before all words beginning with a vowel sound.
  2. Younger readers would not necessarily assume that the reference is to World War II.
Original: "For my petition is simply this: that you will no longer think of the dedication of that statue which the has ordered to be set up in the Jewish temple by Petronius."

Revised: you have

  1. The sentence makes no sense.
  2. In the correct context and the meaning the author wants to convey, both words changed.

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