From the virtual pen of Deanna Hoak, Zen and the Art of Copyediting, which lives here. In fact, go over here for regular visits, for there is much useful goodness.
Every once in a while, I get a request from a production editor that makes me realize how very…Zen, for lack of a better word…my approach to copyediting novels is. I’ve been specializing in fantasy and science fiction for eleven years now–that’s a long time for a freelancer to survive–and I’ve worked hard to build what I’m told is an excellent reputation in the genre. When I approach a novel, my first thought is not how to make it conform to the rules set forth by The Chicago Manual of Style or Words into Type. My first thought is more often, What rules need to be broken in order to make this book as accessible to the reader as possible?