Writing for different purposes

Being a good writer in a particular genre, on a particular medium, does not necessarily mean that we’re able to transpose that same writing ability and apply it to different media.

To put it in no-nonsense terms… different media require different styles of writing!

While writing an academic/research paper more often than not requires rather long prose (to accommodate all that research and explanations!), writing on digital media platforms require snappy sentences to catch the reader’s attention.

It’s pretty much the epitome of hook, line and sinker.

Digital media aims to get the reader’s attention as quickly, and as best, as possible. And then digital media steps up to reel in the reader with quality content. And the rest, as they’ll know it, is history.

It’s like, one minute you’re just browsing on Twitter, but you stumble upon Ryan Reynold’s hilariously NSFW, snappy tweets, and you’re now suddenly addicted and you wish he’d tweet every other minute.

Personally, I think these 3 quick tips help writers navigate the temperamental waters of digital media:

  1. KISSKeep It Short and Sweet!
  2. Look for the humour in things — Don’t take yourself too seriously!
  3. Watch out for errors — Do a fact/grammar/spelling check before you publish!

Till the next post!

Of course we need editors!

So in response to my previous blog post wondering whether we need editors in this technology-infused world…

YES, WE DO. (As you can also tell from the title of this blog post…)

But why do we need editors when Word has spell-check and most modern phones have auto-correct?

The answer is: this and this.

As we have all experienced, spell check doesn’t catch every mistake either, as multiple news agencies pressed for time have proved:

“Prince Harry, ruler of the most majestic of mammals, whales!” WBAL-TV. Image shared from http://www.goodcontentcompany.com.
“Pretty sure Armstrong has a shady rug use past… All those holes!” CBC News. Image shared from bigjoeonthego.com.
“Didn’t know Obama and Osama were one and the same?!” Fox40 News. Image shared from http://www.2dayfm.com.au

So while modern-day technology with the red and green squiggly lines certainly help catch some glaring errors, they don’t pick up on nearly enough. And that’s why we have editors.

Technology is advanced. Technology certainly does make our lives easier. But technology doesn’t understand the nuances and idiosyncrasies of human language.

Instead, it takes the very human eye, and of course, the human brain too, to pick up on things that a machine can’t—things like sarcasm, slang, and sometimes even just downright straightforward grammar!

And if you need more reasons why, here’s a great list-icle from Lifehack about the weird errors found in documents relying only on spell check!

So the next time someone tells you editors are just… useless grammar nazis… (that took a lot out of me, just to type that urgh!) send them here!

Till the next post! 😉 And remember folks, the human eye is better!

What does it mean to be an editor?

Recently I’ve been thinking more and more about what it means to be an editor in today’s spell-check/self-published world. Are editors (copyeditors, developmental editors, commissioning editors) no longer in any demand, since (with minimal technological know-how, i.e. knowing how to simply press the F7 key on your keyboard when in Microsoft Word) almost anyone can “edit” and proofread their work, and literally anyone can publish their own work on their own.

So are editors still needed then?

This has been on my mind for quite some time, and especially so since friends on Facebook seem to keep sharing articles and posts on how many of us will lose our jobs to computers/droids in time to come (hi, Computer, if you’re sentient enough to understand this, I [receive] you in peace. I promise not to jerk you around.). And it got me thinking — are editors dispensable?

Obviously I have very strong opinions about what I, as an editor, do and can do that helps not only writers, but also corporations or, really, any body that publishes anything. But what do you think? Would an editor be essential? Or can a computer do the job of an editor? Or will we move into an age where published works no longer need any sort of developing at the manuscript stage — because people should just be able to publish any(and every)thing?

I’ll probably ramble on about what being an editor means to me in the next post… But till then, let me know what you think!