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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Lesser Known Editing Marks

Lesser Known Editing Marks

Some of you may have seen this image bouncing around Facebook and Twitter, but I thought it was worth another chuckle.

I think I saw some of those z-z-z-z-z’s in the copy edit mark-up of THE CAGED GRAVES!  Well, actually, it was a politely worded note in the margin: Is there a reason we need to know this? But same thing, right?

My editor also needed a symbol like this:

That means: “Where’d this furniture come from?”  Apparently, I’m not very good at keeping track of furniture. A dresser becomes a dressing table and then turns into a writing desk.  A stool becomes a chair and then switches back.

What editing symbol needs to be invented for YOUR manuscript?

18 Responses to Lesser Known Editing Marks

  1. Linda G. says:

    LOL! I’ve seen this around the interwebz — I love it!

  2. I’ve seen these. They’re great!

    I have to keep a chart, sometimes, listing what items I have in a scene – like furniture. lol

  3. LOL I have not seen that. Thank you so much for sharing. I think my favorite is “remove permanently from your lexicon.”

  4. Julie Dao says:

    HAHAH!! I like the “damn good adverb” sign. Unfortunately I use that a lot…

  5. I would like a little Starfleet symbol meaning “Red Alert!” as a warning that major red ink was on the way…

    How about a TARDIS mark to indicate a timeline continuity error?


  6. These are fab! I need a no time travel sign because I lose track of the age of my characters. My beta reader on Losing Hope had a fit because Persey was a year older than she should have been.

  7. Oh these are funny! Never saw ’em before. Me, I’d probably need something to indicate that I needed to distance the “writing” from the story-telling, if ya know what I mean. Maybe a heart with a line through it, meaning, “Stop falling in love with your own words.”

  8. Tonja says:

    I haven’t seen it. I love the one for mixed metaphor.

    My CP and I use explanation marks to note the parts we love and square bracket lines that could be removed. A long squiggly line under a phrase or sentence means it’s awkward.

  9. LOL. I saw this the other day. A pair of scissors as a symbol would be good for my writing. I get very wordy, so I need to do lots of cut, cut, cutting away.
    : )

  10. ~Jan says:

    I need some sort of spider webbish symbol, for “way too complicated and tangled.”

  11. Chris Fries says:

    Mine usually needs something like this:

    … !?!?!

    It loosely means: “… and then what?!?!? Hurry up and finish the damn draft, would’ya!”

  12. mshatch says:

    I often use ‘bw’ in parentheses to tell myself to find a better word. This way I don’t spend a thousand years looking for the perfect word until I get to my second draft πŸ™‚

  13. DL Hammons says:

    That’s the first time I’ve seen those, and they’re hilarious!!!! πŸ™‚

  14. Susan Oloier says:

    This is great! I’ve not seen it before. Love the furniture mark for your ms πŸ™‚
    I would likely need the TM (trademark symbol), indicating “Are you getting paid to advertise this product or restaurant?” I mention too many name-brand products and places sometimes.

  15. I like some of those symbols. lol I’ll probably get lots of zzzzz.

    Thanks for the laugh. I needed it.

  16. Pk Hrezo says:

    lol… those are great!!

  17. LOL! I’m not sure what I’m guilty of ! I read a novel recently where the plastic cups became mugs in the same scene.