The other day, I got to thinking about what skills make an editor good. Of course, there are all the obvious ones: excellent grammar and sentence structure, comma wrangling, large vocabulary, audience analysis, strategic thinking, collaboration, and near-obsessive attention to detail.
However, the greatest ability for an editor is to ask the right questions.
Surprised? Most people think that writers are the ones who should be most concerned with questions.
If clarity is the goal of a written item (whether it be a 250-word blog post or a 200-page report), the editor must make sure the way the information is presented is understandable to readers.
If the editor is unsure, the readers won’t get it. When readers are confused, there’s miscommunication which can lead to lost time, inefficiency, and other forms of chaos.
Well written copy doesn’t usually require a lot of editorial questioning. The writer has already asked…
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