Conscious and Inclusive Editing with @redpenrabbit now, and this one should NOT be missed. #CIEP2021
I may even remember to thread this time.
Words can do good. They uplift, empower and inspire. But they can do harm too. It's an editor's duty to alert authors to the harm they might be unconsciously doing. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 1/
Many harmful language issues are unintentional, but if we know about it ourselves as editors, we can help educate authors so they can avoid them. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 2/
Conscious language is rooted in critical thinking and compassion, used skillfully in a specific context. This is from the @ConsciousStyles, which is one of the best resources for learning about how to avoid the harm ignorant usage can do. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 3/
Conscious language is not political correctness, censorship, bias free, or static, and there is no single guide for it. Intentional language use can highlight injustice done to a specific group. And language is constantly changing. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 4/
Slurs may get reclaimed by the group targeted by them so that they are used in an empowering way. There's no list of words and phrases that are acceptable in all contexts. It's about context and intent. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 5/
It's not just about race. Conscious language also applies to marginalized communities based on gender, sexual orientation, age, ability and disability, neurodiversity, spirituality, language, socioeconomic status, education level, citizenship, appearance & body size. #CIEP2021 6/
Is the language you're using disrespectful, stigmatizing, inaccurate, biased, or excluding? Consider these when writing, and how they might affect your readers. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 7/
Is the language outdated, dehumanizing, presumptuous, judgmental, or rooted in oppression? Consider etymology, connotations, assumptions and the effects of how the language used frames the discourse. Is that the intent? #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 8/
Choose language that is more respectful, compassionate, accurate and empowering. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 9/
Language evolves but that doesn't erase the harmful history it might have. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 10/
Individuals can't speak for an entire group. One person's opinion does not invalidate everyone else's experiences. Just because your friend says they don't mind, doesn't mean it's OK to use that term with everyone. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 11/
What can we do to be more aware? Listen when someone calls language harmful, learn the etymology and history, be willing to learn, read widely and follow activist who talk about language, and seek out resources like @ConsciousStyles #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 12/
Listen to those who belong to the group and have firsthand knowledge of how that language affects them. Maybe refer an authenticity reader. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 13/
I love CMOS, because (5.254): A careful editor points out ... biased terms ... suggests alternatives, and ensures that any biased language that is retained is retained by choice. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 14/
Editors should speak up because we can help clients to make informed decisions. We can normalize this as part of the editing process. We can drive language change rather than waiting to follow. We risk that nothing will be said otherwise. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 15/
Clients may choose to keep the writing as is, but if we stay silent, we're guaranteeing it. We can educate writers for future change. 16/
Providing conscious language feedback doesn't mean imposing the editor's views/biases on the writing. That's not what this is about. Use critical assessment to see if the writing is aligned with their goals, & if the language is appropriate for that. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 17/
Editors should be constructive, objective, professional, focused on reader rather than writer, presenting suggestions for alternatives and sharing sources for further reading. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 18/
I use @redpenrabbit's Conscious Style Toolkit to help me phrase queries and locate sources for specific issues when I flag them for clients. It's a huge time-saver and prevents a lot of agonizing over wording. #CIEP2021 19/
Now, @redpenrabbit is giving us a peek of some of the sample feedback that she offers to us in that toolkit. Focus on the language used, not the person using them - don't attack the author. #CIEP2021 20/
Use hedging language like "usually" and "sometimes" rather than absolutes that make people defensive. It's a suggestion, not a command. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 21/
Cite authoritative sources so the author knows it's not just the editor "imposing their opinion." #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 22/
Make Conscious Language part of the process. Set expectations with clients, incorporate feedback in editorial reports, flag issues with comments, and refer to specialist editors or authenticity readers if needed. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 23/
Pro tip: I have tactfully phrased comments for common issues set up in @TextExpander so I can flag them and move on, without it taking a major emotional toll each time I encounter them. I got most of them from Crystal's toolkit. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 24/
Clients may be resistant. Acknowledge that it's a suggestion and it's their choice. Frame it as providing info. Decide whether to keep working with the client or to walk away. #CIEP2021 @redpenrabbit 25/
@redpenrabbit Help clients understand why they should care. Ultimately, it's not about intent, it's about the impact on readers. #CIEP2021 26/
@redpenrabbit Just as we help clients avoid legal issues with copyright, you can protect them from the risks they face in using harmful language, on top of protecting their readers from that language. #CIEP2021 27/
@redpenrabbit Q&As: using historical slurs as setting flavoring in historical fiction, for "historical accuracy"; is this worth the harm it does to readers who are reading it in a modern context? What are the goals here? Is it necessary to perpetuate the harmful use of words? #CIEP2021
@redpenrabbit Confronting privilege and challenging the status quo is uncomfortable, so get ready to be uncomfortable: that's how you grow. #CIEP2021
@redpenrabbit Q&As: How do you know when language needs to be changed and when it's evolving? Consider the context, history of the term, and the effect on people it concerns vs who is using it. Look at several firsthand sources. #CIEP2021
@redpenrabbit Crystal's Top 3 resources: @ConsciousStyles, @DiversityStyle, and the APA Bias-Free Style Guide. #CIEP2021
@redpenrabbit @ConsciousStyles @DiversityStyle Cutting out the stereotyped accents and dialects and slurs will not make your readers misunderstand the historical setting of your novel; suspension of disbelief is more powerful than you think it is, and they're more likely to stumble on those if you leave them in. #CIEP2021
@redpenrabbit @ConsciousStyles @DiversityStyle Such a brilliant session and it is SO IMPORTANT to keep Conscious Language in mind as we edit for 21st century authors and readers. Thanks Crystal! #CIEP2021

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More from @GeckoEdit

14 Sep
🧵Here's my summary of @LouiseHarnby's talk on Narrative Distance. I'm really excited about this one. Narrative Distance, to me, can be hard for writers and editors to grok, but it underpins so many key elements that make stories work. #CIEP2021 1/
@LouiseHarnby If you write or edit fiction, you should be following @LouiseHarnby wherever she is (and she's everywhere) #CIEP2021 2/
Narrative Distance (aka psychic distance) is a stylistic editing tool. It intersects with narrative style, POV, show vs tell, and more. Check out The Art of Fiction by John Gardner. #CIEP2021 3/
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12 Sep
Guiding principles in developmental editing of fiction, from @liminal_pages: 1. It's not your book. Don't take it over or try to rewrite it. Make it the best the author can do. Give appropriate feedback to avoid overwhelming them. What are THEIR goals for the book? #CIEP2021 1/9
2. YOU define your service. What is it called, what does it include, and how many rounds are there? Communicate this clearly to your clients early on. There's no one way to do things; define what you want to provide. 2/9
You might want to make sentence level edits to show how to apply a suggestion you're making, but be careful not to creep into copy-editing. Small changes should still relate to big issues with character, POV, plot, 'showing' for immersion, etc. 3/9
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Gather round, hu-mons, and I'll show you how the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition can make your editing business more profitable. (a thread) 1/
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Underpromise and overdeliver; account for 2020-esque global shenanigans and ships getting stuck in the Suez canal of your productivity. Clients are always happy to receive completed work earlier than expected. 3/
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