Now that you at least know what a style book is we can move forward.
Next is the biggest bane of existence for copy editors — character count. Unlike what many people believe character count is not the same as word count. Obviously. And let me tell you I praise whoever came up with the idea. Cause it sure is much easier to cut 100 characters than 100 words.
I know you’re probably confused on what characters are so here it is. Plain and simple: character count is every little letter that you decide to put on the page and every lovely space in-between. Yes, the space count. And while it may be easy to cut characters more than words it’s still difficult. The reason it’s made difficult is when you decide to hand me a story that has 1,000 characters when it should only have 800. Now I have to search through your entire paper and delete every unnecessary part to your story that you have.
But You Have To Do It Anyway
True, I have to read the whole piece regardless and remove unnecessary parts. But when you are closer to character count then it’s not as much of a problem. Also I can’t just simply cut off 200 characters and say done. It doesn’t work that way. No, I will have to nickel and dime every bit to bring you down to that count. And I hate doing it. So how about you read your work a couple of times. It’s easier for you to cut it than me.
NOTES, NOTES, NOTES
Another lovely idea along with your character count is your notes. If you don’t write good notes then kiss that story good bye. If it looks like gibberish then we are going to have problems.
Those notes are the only thing holding any merit to what you said the person told you. Without those it’s pointless to even edit your work.
Also along with your notes be sure to research thoroughly. While I know most writers follow these instructions well — or at least I hope you do — it can still be a problem. My word of advice to you is that copy and paste only works for notes. That’s it. You can’t go any further with it than that. I’ve seen my fair share of people trying to use copy and paste instead of their own work. Well guess what. That’s a thing called PLAGARISM. And that doesn’t sit well with any copy editor. I will 100 percent guarantee that you will be re-writing that whole story. Plus your work will be scrutinized from that point on.
So do us both a favor and just write in your own words. We both know you are an amazing writer. So let it shine. Besides I’m just trying to make you look the best you can. So be sure to check that style book, your character count, and keep those notes nice and clean and you’ll do great.