When editors or proof readers write an evaluation or suggestions for revisions in paragraph form, they are putting their writing "out there" to be observed and critiqued by others.
What do I mean, you ask? Let me give an example. Let's say I've acted as an acquisition editor and have prepared an evaluation. If I write something like the next paragraph, what kind of impression am I going to leave on my supervisor, the author, or anyone else who reads what I wrote:
I did like Running Backward trhough the Streets, but I found lots of misunderstood parts. When characters talk, each one should have its own para. The time line should be consistent and plot should make sense.
How could I make that a better paragraph? Let's see.
I enjoyed reading Running Backward through the Streets, but some sections confused me. The wording and sentence structure caused misunderstanding. (give example of a confusing section and suggestion for revision) When different characters speak, paragraphs change. For example when John talks and perhaps a bit of action, one paragraph is required. Then when Mary speaks, a new paragraph begins. The time line and plot are not consistent, understandable, or in cohesive order.
The acquisition editor who writes a sloppy evaluation causes the author to wonder if he or she wants to do business with a publisher who has staff members who cannot write coherently.
A lead editor or proof reader who writes suggestions in paragraph format should also be as careful about his/her writing, making sure it is clear with extremely few, preferably no mechanical or grammatical problems.
Remember, we're putting our own writing on display when we write as an editor or proof reader. We don't want readers making snide remarks such as, "This person calls himself an editor? Ha! I can write as good as he can."
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