Tag Archives: editing

lettterblocks

[marginalia] The Style Sheet : : Tony Tulathimutte

authorphotoTony Tulathimutte is the author of the novel Private Citizens. A graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he has written for The New York Times, VICE, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, N+1, Playboy, The Paris Review, Salon, The LA Review of Books, Travel + Leisure, and others. His work has received an O. Henry Award and a Macdowell Fellowship.

This post is part of our ongoing web series MARGINALIA about all things writing, reading, & learning. To submit your own experience, please read our guidelines.

***

Let this be an official apology to my copyeditor, the indefatigable Laura Cherkas, and a hymn of praise for the work copyeditors do with scant praise or recognition. Did you know that HarperCollins fact-checks their novels? And that they not only make lists of every character, every location, and every abbreviation, but a comprehensive timeline of every event in the book with a specific date? I sure didn’t, until, some time after submitting the draft of my novel Private Citizens, I received all of these in a 13-page style sheet, an additional four pages and an annotated manuscript of unbelievably minute queries. The style notes offer a charming glimpse into the copyeditor’s pragmatic, craftsmanly approach to literature: “Author’s prose is very slangy and stylistic; follow him when possible,” one reads (good advice!). Or: “‘God’ capitalized only in direct reference to deity, not in interjections. ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’ always capped.”

Continue reading

Summer School with Emily Mueller: Totally Raw Thought

 

More summer school with Emily Mueller who muses on how to edit honesty, along with ramdom thoughts on nihilism and Disney porn.

I talk to myself all the time. When I was younger I was convinced people saw psychologists only because they were too embarrassed to talk themselves through their own problems. After years of talking to myself I like to think I know something about intelligent conversation.

“Are you a good person?” myself asks me. Continue reading