Work Desk

special editorial considerations

Fiction  |  Poetry  |   Nonfiction  |   Business  |   Academic

For works of fiction, particular attention must be given to:

  • the story arc, plots and themes

  • settings and imagery

  • timelines and chronology

  • characters - descriptions,  traits, motivations, behaviours, voices and believability

  • point of view

  • dialogue

  • mood of the scene and emotional response

  • the element of surprise

  • cliché and awkward metaphor

  • (and last, but not least, showing not telling.

My preferred fiction genres are historical, literary, mystery, humour, contemporary, memoir-based and science fiction.

​For poetry, there is a strong focus on: 

  • form of expression

  • mood, imagery, emotional core and impact

  • punctuation, pauses and line breaks

  • phrasing, rhythm and oral quality.

​For nonfiction books, there are other aspects of the document to be considered: 

  • level of formality and authoritativeness

  • assumption of reader knowledge and accessibility of complex information

  • specialist nomenclature and terminology (and indexability)

  • thematic transitions and logic of argument

  • reader usability and navigation (including headings, subheadings, cross-references and footnotes)

  • impact and memorability of key messages

  • sensitive and contentious content

  • permissions, copyright and plagiarism

  • visual displays (e.g. extracts, lists, boxes, sidebars, forms, diagrams, graphs, charts, photos, tables, equations)

  • bibliographic data (e.g. references, text citations)

  • disclaimers (author opinion and reader responsibility for actions)

  • cohesion of multi-author contributions

  • other elements required e.g. figure lists, abbreviation lists and end matter (e.g. appendices, glossaries and index).

Business documentation also requires consideration of factors such as:

  • adherence to internal style guidelines and streamlining (as required) with inhouse teams and procedures

  • adherence to strict deadlines

  • brand/corporate identity and consistency within and across document types (e.g. websites and printed matter)

  • the context, relevance and visual impact of displayed features, such as figures (diagrams, graphs, line-drawings, charts, infographics, photographs) and figure labelling and captions, and tables (design and content), lists, text boxes and sidebars, questionnaires and forms, and extracts, citations and references.

Academic content in reports, theses, dissertations, journal submissions and essays, requires a very structured approach to:

  • layouts and sequence of sections (e.g. Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, References, and Conflict of interest statements

  • abstract, summaries and executive summaries

  • structure and navigability

  • keyword selection

  • logic of argument

  • supporting evidence

  • figures (diagrams, graphs, line-drawings, charts, infographics, photographs) and tables, and their labels and captions

  • specialist nomenclature, terminology, abbreviations and acronyms

  • scientific units, statistics, equations, mathematical and chemical symbols

  • reference lists and in-text citations (e.g. Harvard vs Vancouver)

For purely bioscientific and medical documents, please visit my specialist company, Shoreline BioMedical.

 
 
 
 
 

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