I think this is an excellent example of how I edit. I always encourage the people I’m copyediting for the ultimate decision to stet my changes.
As a kid I’d ride in the passenger’s seat and watch my mother’s hands on the steering wheel. They were always moving. How did she know when to move her hands? Driving, I thought, must be very difficult.
After I’d been behind the wheel myself a few times, I began to get it: You don’t move your hands on the wheel. The wheel moves your hands. Your hands respond to the road, the car, and what your eyes and other senses tell them.
True, your hands turn the wheel when you want to go left or right, but if you hold your hands still when you’re going down the road, you’ll probably start drifting to one side or the other.
In the last two months I’ve copyedited two demanding nonfiction manuscripts. One was 900 pages long, the other about 550. Yesterday morning I sent the second of the two off…
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