Today, the assignment from Jeff Goins is to finish something in thirty minutes. Ready, set, go.  When I got up this morning, I checked my email and found a reply from someone who I had met on his site yesterday. We had agreed to be critical feedback partners and had exchanged pieces. She had returned my piece with her notes. She also stated that she wished I had answered a few other questions on her pieces. Whoa, I still have a lot to learn about giving feedback and thought I would use this post today to put some of my learning into practice. (Thanks, Tannis!)

First, here are the questions she asked.

    1) Did I give enough or too much of a description of something?

     2) Was the content in a suitable order?

     3) Did I tell too little or too much?

I don’t know why I didn’t give feedback on those things. I guess I am still in a proofreading mode when I think of giving feedback. I can correct punctuation, misspellings, word order, wrong words or phrases with the best of them, but doing other kinds of feedback is difficult because I don’t know if that’s the way the person meant it to sound. Does that make sense? I also have this same difficulty in my local writer’s group. I have read at two of the meetings and have gotten some wonderful feedback. But, I haven’t given a lot of feedback myself for some of those same reasons. I’m seriously thinking of passing on reading anything at the next meeting because I would really like to improve on the other skills. Part of this improvement, I think, would be to learn what kinds of editing there actually are. This is where that handy Internet research comes in. I found these types of editing and their definitions on the website.

1) substantive or developmental editing – The most intensive form of editing is substantive editing. The document is evaluated as a whole and problems of structure, organization, coherence, and logical consistency are corrected. Sentences may be removed or added. Paragraphs may be rewritten, condensed, or expanded. Blocks of text may be moved from one section to another.

2) copy editing – The editor corrects problems of grammar, style, repetition, word usage, and jargon.

3) proofreading -Proofreading is the lightest form of editing. Minor errors are corrected which include:

  • errors of grammar and style (e.g., verb tense, units such as ml, use of numerals and words such as “5” or “five”)
  • errors of capitalization, punctuation (e.g., the use of commas, semicolons, colons, periods, dashes, apostrophes)
  • errors of spelling and word usage (e.g., to/too, affect/effect)

So, those are the kinds of editing. Now, how do you edit or give feedback on something you might not know a whole lot about? Do you think about how the piece sounds to you and go at it from that angle. Do you think about what makes sense and what doesn’t? What about clarifying and putting more description in a particular section? As you can see, I am still learning about this. Please feel free to answer these questions or any other questions about feedback or editing you can think of in the comments.

Until next time, be real!!!!!!!