The dynamics of Christian book editing and proofreading
When it comes to Christian book editing, being a technically sound editor and proofreader is just not going to be enough.
What people fail to understand while proofreading any religious document is that it isn’t just about perfect grammar and spelling. While typos are usually laughed off or embarrassing, here, it could mess up not just the message and idea but also fail to convey the passion with which the book was written. It’s not just about the work, it’s also about being sensitive to the sentiment.
It’s already been established that editing and proofreading is extremely important and crucial for a manuscript before it can be published. However, when it comes to Christian book editing, there is an added layer of things to bear in mind.
For instance, the editor has to bear in mind the religious connotations, and not every editor is an expert in the concerned field. Alongside the technical skill-set that every good editor must possess, it also requires an in-depth knowledge of the word of God, in order to be able to edit and proofread while not disturbing the original intended message of the content.
Books that fall under this category are usually written in order to spread God’s words, motivational or a sort of guidebook into understanding anything from the basics to the finer aspects of Christianity. Therefore, there is a certain level of sensitivity that the editor must demonstrate while undertaking such a task. It certainly can’t be treated just like any other document, and must be approached cautiously.
If you’re in the process of writing or proofreading a Christian book, the content must be thoroughly in compliance with the laws of the religion. If not, there is a possibility that it could offend the sentiments of believers and have disastrous consequences. To give you a better understanding of the same and help you be on the lookout for it, here’s a short list of ‘Things You Might Just Want To Be Careful About Or Else. . .’ –
There are quite a few proper nouns in religious documents (such as names of people, places, etc.) that have archaic spellings. Santa could become Satan really easily if one doesn’t watch out for and cross check these. Often, the writer’s could get these wrong on their end and editors gloss over it because they think it’s right. So when in doubt; always, always verify.
2) Citations and other references
This isn’t like doing regular citations, you’re literally editing what God said! So check your references twice or even thrice if necessary, because you don’t want to give Judas credit for what Peter said!
3) Potentially impertinent language
This one’s a little tricky, since it could involve altering the content. However, it’s necessary since you’re editing sensitive content. If it seems like it could be a little provocative, ask the writer to reconsider. There’s always a better way to phrase things, and it’s better than ending up being possibly accused for libel!
Communion, chalice, reconciliation are all words that might seem unintelligible or out of place to people outside the faith. Avoid using them, or ensure that they are qualified at some point in the document. Can I get an amen?
5) Overuse of clichés
It’s easy to get carried away while writing the word of God. If you look closely, you’ll see how many times I’ve used it in this article itself! So keep an eye out for cliches or phrases that end up getting repeated one time too many.
This one’s pretty obvious, but still deserves a special mention here. Why? Because if you start editing the document in terms of isolated sentences and with no context as one sometimes tends to do, you run the risk of correcting the grammar to suit the sentence but it not making sense in the big picture. So separate the past, present and future carefully and avoid time travel.
7) Paragraph Structures.
Did you notice that full stop? This one’s that important. Style your content according to the intended demographic for the book, and avoid the risk of boring your readers.
We at PaperTrue understand the requirements while considering Christan book editing, and can assure you of a professional manuscript that is error free whilst maintaining the integrity of your work. Let nothing come in the way of delivery the Good Lord’s message, least of all a typo. Amen.
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