The 3 Types of Editorial Corrections You Need To Know!

You Are A Writing Ninja! (image byGrywnn [CC BY-SA 4.0, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

You Are A Writing Ninja! (image byGrywnn [CC BY-SA 4.0, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

As I writer there are 7 things I need to know that will get me published.

There are also 13 things I need to know about publishing that will make me more successful than any other writer who reads about them.

4.5 steps that will forever banish writer’s block!

There are all these things…steps…that if I do them, the clouds will part and rays of blindingly glorious Heavenly Light will rain down upon me and I will be The Most Special Person in All of Publishing History.

All I have to do is follow them.

Right.

Well, in an effort to join the quantifiable fray of “enumerated success,” let me tell you all about the epiphany I’ve discovered that will lead to your success in the editing process. Because “knowledge is power” (and in three short weeks I’ll list 17 ways that knowledge IS power!).

With these 3 editorial techniques…you will become…A Writing Ninja.

The 3 Types of Editorial Corrections You Need To Know!

In editing there are three types of corrections every writer needs to be aware of. Sure there are other types of editorial corrections, and in a future post I’ll show you why, in 22 steps that can also make you godlike in your efforts. But for now making up 22 steps is too much, I’m not gonna do it…but three is easy.

So, if you want to be The World’s Greatest Writer, you need to master these 3 editorial corrections:

The Bad Dog

The “Bad Dog” is the correction you make by inserting new text into your original text in an effort to make things better. But as you work it, you find well, you’re not as good as you thought you were, and return to what you originally had, thereby proving, wait-a-minute—yes, YES!—I really am better than I thought I was! and keep what you’d already had. But what’s key, here, is that you did not delete the original text you meant to correct. All your original words are still there. So you simply “back over” all the newly inserted text, returning everything to the way it was.

“The Bad Dog” gets it terminology because when you scold a dog, the dog will usually come back to you, ears and body lowered in an attempt to “cute” its way back into your good graces. Here, in your editing process, you’ve essentially “cuted” yourself back into your own good graces in that you’ve proven to yourself that you knew what to do the first time around and should have realized you couldn’t improve upon your own work or words, because they were perfect to begin with. Bad dog, you!

But…in the style of Plighter’s Digest…and in the interests of blatant, “shameless self-promotion” (as we like to say in the writing biz) to further “drive home” the point that smart people already got three paragraphs ago, here is an example…using an overly huge example of my own writing, taken from my imminently successful short story, “The World’s Greatest Writer”:

“Then how do you know he’s such a great writer?” pressed the young one, who held the older writer’s gaze firmly, her manuscript cradled loosely in her arms between them. The young one had not meant to pin the learned author to the wall, but was merely genuinely curious. “How can you say so much about him, when you haven’t ever read his work—or met him?” She furrowed her brow, patiently awaiting an esoteric, scholarly, response.

“I know it’s hard to believe, my dear, but it’s his reputation, you see. Did you know he doesn’t even use a computer? He uses a mechanical typewriter! The gentleman is simply… extraordinary. Exceptional. Have you ever personally met God? The Pope? No…you know of each through faith, through reputation. But that’s what this banquet is all about, my dear young one! He’s coming out, as it were! Don’t let your youth and impetuousness get the best of you! You are yet young—learn! Tonight, here, it is said that he will debut the opening pages to his Great American Novel! I mean, can you fathom this opportunity before you? The miraculous, metaphysical encounter we are all about to be granted? We are going to be the first to experience his words, his energy, his soul. His raw, unfiltered emotional fervor before they are all unleashed upon our common, illiterate, public—we…we are the privileged few. Savor this moment, my dear writer, for you clearly do not comprehend the enormity of greatness upon which you are about to witness. Mark my words: this…will never happen again. In any life time. My God, how I wish I were in your shoes, a lifetime ago, to start over my profession at a much higher place, indeed!”

So, if I were to correct a sentence, say: “He’s coming out, as it were!” and wanted to change it (note I didn’t say “correct” it, because, as we all know, my words are Golden so attempting to change anything is a meaningless and wasted effort…but since I am promoting myself, I have to give an example…), then back it out, this is what is would look like:

He’s coming out, as it were! ==> He’s making an appearance coming out, as it were! ==> He’s making an appearance coming out, as it were!  ==> He’s coming out, as it were!

The Revenant

The second editorial correction is a blatant effort to piggy back onto a successful movie by incorporating it into my blog post in the hopes (fingers crossed!!!) that all who search on The Revenant will find my blog post, follow it, then buy all my books. Boom. I’m (again) #TheWorldsGreatestWriter.

The Revenant is when you make a correction to a part of your (excuse me…I can’t stop laughing…because we all know my—I mean YOUR—Words are Golden…so no corrections are ever, really necessary…) text, realize the folly of your ways (and that you haven’t yet had enough caffeine to clearly realize this…)…then pull of a zippy “Ctrl-Z.”

Boom.

That just happened.

Your original words are back.

But though they are your original words…they’re not really the original words, because you erased them.

Killed them.

They are (like Star Trek’s transporter-beamed people) re-created facsimiles of the original.

They are…resurrected facsimiles of the words you killed.

But…you did the next best thing and brought them back.

The Revenant.

If you still don’t get it, here’s another swollen, self-serving example taken from my short, “The World’s Greatest Writer”:

“Yet he remained ever gracious as he shook hands and took a genuine interest in all whom he greeted—asking how their children and relatives were doing, did they have jobs, and if not, please, do give him a call, and he’d see what he could do about it, and would they promise him that they would get enough sleep before going back to work on the morrow?

“Then one, without warning, wildfire-swift whisper erupted throughout the banquet:

Where was the manuscript?!

“Had he come without his words?!

“Were they all to be so-callously jilted?

“Teased so hotly, only to be summarily slapped without so much as a kiss or a hug? Good God, what had happened? Was it…Writer’s Block?

“The crowd again held its collective breath.

“He somberly approached the podium, his smile evaporated.

“Removing a handkerchief, Mssr. Authier paused, wiped tears from his eyes, then grasped both sides of the podium, stained hanky still clutched in one of his trembling hands. He voice wavered and cracked as he addressed the audience in his wonderfully accented, melodic French-Canadian dialect.”

So, lifting from the above, here’s what The Revenant wold look like:

Where was the manuscript?! ==> Where was the burrito?! ==> Where was the manuscript?!

The Revenant is also known as “The Ctrl-Z.”

Going Rogue

The third and final editorial correction is a jump into the uncharted waters of Your Greatness. It is, simply stated, adding more words to your Already Golden Pulitzer Prize Winning Creation.

Again, to cite still yet another utterly self-serving example from “The World’s Greatest Writer”:

“And with that, Mssr. Authier III launched into the most heartrending speech anyone in that room (or their progeny) had ever, or would ever, participate in. For two-and-one-half hours Mssr. Authier held the room in rapt captivation. Random House, foreseeing this, had trucked in boxes of Kleenex (TM)-brand tissues—unfortunately for Mssr. Authier’s attendees (and further adding to their emotional turmoil) his likeness was on the sides of each box, promoting his yet-to-be-written novel. People gave up their writing careers following his speech, devoting their lives to the Peace Corps or Green Peace. Half of the counselors working the banquet took early retirement (including those wearing the most-advanced-technology ear protection devices; though they couldn’t hear a single utterance, they didn’t have to…each felt and experienced the emotion that had taken complete hold of that audience that magical evening), and entered therapy themselves. Those with outstanding traffic warrants turned themselves in the next day and insisted upon a minimum of one year of community service for evading the law in paying those fines. So overcome with exhaustion was Mssr. Authier himself at the conclusion of addressing his audience that he had to be assisted from the stage and escorted directly to his awaiting motorcade, where a saline IV drip awaited. Mssr. Authier was submitted for the Nobel and Pulitzer prizes for his oration.”

To employ Going Rogue, the above changes to:

“And with that, Mssr. Authier III launched into the most heartrending speech anyone in that room (or their progeny) had ever, or would ever, participate in. For two-and-one-half hours Mssr. Authier held the room in rapt captivation. Random House, foreseeing this, had trucked in boxes of Kleenex (TM)-brand tissues—unfortunately for Mssr. Authier’s attendees (and further adding to their emotional turmoil) his likeness was on the sides of each box, promoting his yet-to-be-written novel. People gave up their writing careers following his speech, devoting their lives to the Peace Corps or Green Peace. Half of the counselors working the banquet took early retirement (including those wearing the most-advanced-technology ear protection devices; though they couldn’t hear a single utterance, they didn’t have to…each felt and experienced the emotion that had taken complete hold of that audience that magical evening), and entered therapy themselves. Those with outstanding traffic warrants turned themselves in the next day and insisted upon a minimum of one year of community service for evading the law in paying those fines. So overcome with exhaustion was Mssr. Authier himself at the conclusion of addressing his audience that he had to be assisted from the stage and escorted directly to his awaiting motorcade, where a saline IV drip awaited. Mssr. Authier was submitted for the Nobel and Pulitzer prizes for his oration. OMG.”

Did you catch that? What was added?

OMG” was added at the very end. That is “Going Rogue.”

A stroke of genius, if I do say so myself.

Be Brave!

So, in conclusion, the 3 types of editorial corrections are:

  1. The Bad Dog
  2. The Revenant
  3. Going Rogue

Now that you know this heavily guarded editorial “secret,” you, too, can reap the benefits of “professional expertise” in your own writing…and (hopefully) rush out and buy all my books—even those I haven’t yet written.

If you have not grasped all that I’ve written, catch my next piece, which will be “The 11.6 Ways You Can Better Understand What Others Are [Trying To] Tell[ing] You.”

My work here is done.

***********************

F. P. Dorchak is an award-winning author in his own mind and the bestselling author of nothing. But he talks a good game and is quite full of himself. His latest books are full of the above editorial corrections, which shows he actually knows very little about the craft of writing, but this gig is sure to correct that in a “Going Rogue” kinda way. Go buy his stuff. Now.

Related Articles

(Mr. Dorchak would like you to think that his work is so ubiquitous that it would be utter folly to even attempt to list them, here.)

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About fpdorchak

Paranormal fiction author.
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7 Responses to The 3 Types of Editorial Corrections You Need To Know!

  1. Karen Lin says:

    I would add another editorial correction. Remove the Boring. Picking the still-beautiful flowers from the vase and dumping the rest. Instead of killing your darlings, consider the possibility that THEY ARE YOUR VOICE rather than the boring, pedestrian stuff all around them. It would mean rewriting most of a book probably… but you may have found your unique voice. Don’t kill your babies (even the phrase should clue us in that they are precious)

  2. Paul says:

    Good post, Frank! I love “Ctrl-Z”. I often wish LIFE had an “undo” button. Spill something? Ctrl-Z — it never happened. Make a bad joke? Ctrl-Z, and everyone still thinks you’re a true wit. Fly off the handle, then realize you misunderstood someone’s meaning? Yep, Ctrl-Z. It’s the ultimate do-over — and a true writer’s friend.

  3. Wendy Brydge says:

    In the spirit of this post… Please allow me to congratulate you for highlighting what are truly the most common types of editorial corrections. Everyone is guilty of these. Well, not EVERYONE. I mean, not ME. Or YOU. Because as you said, anything we write is right because it’s us and we’re always right, right? Right.

    Lol! Good post, Frank!

    • fpdorchak says:

      Thanks,Wendy—glad to see you know everyone else’s place in OUR world! 😛

      So—pop quiz—how many editorial corrections had I used in my reply to your comment?

      Correct: none.

      Pat yourself on your back, Wendy! You, too, are a Ninja Writer and have properly assimilated all I’ve bestowed!

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