What Is Editorial Style?
Editorial style is commonly confused with writing style. While writing style may refer to a writer's unique voice or application of language, editorial style refers to a set of guidelines that editors use to help make your words as consistent and effective as possible. A good book editor will be sensitive to maintaining a balance between your unique writing style—your voice—and editorial style. Studies have shown that consistent editorial style not only lends credibility to your work but also makes it easier to read and understand.
Only use "nor" with "neither."
Write parallel sentences.
When a sentence contains two or more ideas that are parallel, try to construct each idea in the same way grammatically.
Unparallel: The manager was responsible for writing orders, counting inventory, and to organize the stock room.
Parallel: The manager was responsible for writing orders, counting inventory, and organizing the stock room.
Unparallel: It would be easier to take the train than changing your flight.
Parallel: It would be easier to take the train than to change your flight.
Avoid passive sentences.
Use passive sentences sparingly, if at all. Because passive sentences usually only show who or what is receiving the action, they leave the reader wondering about who or what in the sentence is performing the action. Another tip-off that a sentence is passive is that it usually contains some form of the verb "to be" (e.g., is, are, was, were, had been).
Passive: The meeting was held last night. (Who held the meeting? The meeting is receiving the action.)
Active: The student council held the meeting last night. (The student council held the meeting and is giving the action.)
Passive: To accomplish this, the following had to be considered … (Who had to consider the following?)
Active: To accomplish this, she had to consider the following
Make nouns and pronouns agree.
Incorrect: A student must work hard if they want to be at the top of their class.
Correct: A student must work hard if she wants to be at the top of her class.
Correct: Students must work hard if they want to be at the top of their class.
Check your modifiers.
The best way to check your modifiers is to find sentences that begin with the action rather than the actor. Once you figure out what the action is in the first portion of your sentence, just make sure that you clearly identify the actor in the second part of the sentence. If the actor is not identified, then you've probably got a dangling modifier.
Incorrect: Driving to New England in the early fall, the trees had begun to turn beautiful colors. (The trees were not driving.)
Correct: Driving to New England in the fall, we saw that the trees had begun to turn beautiful colors. (We were driving.)
US (United States)—Use this abbreviation only as an adjective. As a noun, spell out "United States."
For other abbreviations, use periods with lowercased abbreviations but use no period between the letters of an abbreviation in full or small caps (e.g., a.k.a., OPEC, NRA).
Use i.e. and e.g. only between parentheses, set in a normal type (not italic or boldface), and followed by a comma.
Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.
She enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends.
Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined. Author K. Meador has six books published which are available in paperback, eBook, and four are on audio. Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated.