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Editor's blue pencil

edited February 2017 in - Writing Problems
Hi...I am new here. I have been in a writing group for twelve months and was recently successful in a short story competition, where the piece is to be published. The Eds copy has been returned with red and blue marking. It is clear the red marking corrects my punctuation but I am unsure what I should do with the blue marking, mainly put on dialogue tags i.e. "He says"...."She says."....Any advice please....mikejim


  • I've no idea, sorry. But....

    When I was an apprentice (1980's, graphics industry) blue pencil was used to denote any markings required on artwork and typesetting. The reason was because the blue pencil lines do not show up when the artwork was sent for photographing.
  • Best thing to do is ask.

  • I believe it means 'delete', but if it's not clear then ask.
  • Thanks folks...I will ask Editor on Monday
  • If you have a lot of 'he says...she says', I suspect it will be delete. If you have two participants in a conversation, it's usually obvious who is speaking, and telling the reader every time is annoying.
  • Thanks Mrs Bear....I think you're right.
  • Yep, all current advice is to pare these attributions down, and, to not use other than 'said', i.e. 'he exclaimed'; 'she protested' etc, UNLESS the text absolutely call for it.
  • I'm not totally sure, but I always thought that red marks were errors and blue were suggestions to consider...but I may have dreamt that! As advised, it's best to check with the person who made the marks.
  • This might be useful; it doesn't mention ink colour, but shapes of marks - which might be discernible in your ms.

  • Blue and red are usually used post-author for typesetting info.
  • Thanks again fellow writers....on checking the red print was indeed corrected punctuation and grammar. The blue were marked to consider change...putting 'He' instead of character name too often.....too many He says, She says. Have got to say, I found this editor my friend!
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