Over the last several years as I’ve been a continuity editor for authors, I’ve created several Style Sheets for authors. Normally, I get the book about the Beta Reader stage, ask the author a few questions (You’ve got three different spellings of Bridget, which do you want to use?), make a quick Style Sheet, and the pass that on to the final editor. Then, for the rest of the books in the series, the final editor and I keep building on the series Style Sheet. This is quick, easy, and painless. It only involves the author and two editors.
But this summer, I began editing for a website overhaul. My church has a very large website with hundreds of resources, articles, and About pages. We are completely rebuilding it and revamping it. “Putting a new coat of paint on it,” as my pastor said. For such a large site, we’ve split the editing work among a team of editors. But, as the lead editor, it’s my job to codify our style. This is so completely different than Style Sheets that I’ve worked on in the past. Besides the fact that I am the one making the decisions, not the author, I’ve also got to manage several different editors, figuring out their strengths, and assigning tasks according to those.
Oh, did I mention the editing team is made up exclusively of women in my family and my high school English teachers? It feels a bit odd to be the lead on this, telling my mom and one of the associate pastors of the church what grammar rules we will follow.
It has definitely been an interesting job. But I’ve been having so much fun; I wouldn’t trade this for the world.
Picture: what I feel like in the presence of people who taught me grammar. Not that they’ve made me feel this way. This is just how I view myself. That’s my rascally son, Monkey, in church.