Why three brains are better than one*

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Almost every professional writer has an editor. If you work on a newspaper, you’re used to your finely wrought prose being savaged by an angry man or woman with a red pen. Even the Dickens ‘Dickenses’, though technically right, sounds clunky [editor’s comments]  of the world need someone to challenge the odd rambling sentence or line of unbelievable dialogue.

Except, oddly, most ‘copywriters’ inserted inverted commas, because we slag off this word elsewhere on the site [editor’s comments] . They work on their own. And that’s dangerous. Because what happens if they get bored, or lazy, Made this one question rather than two; these short sentences were getting a bit repetitive [second brain’s comments] or when they go native Ha! Will non-native speakers understand ‘go native’? [editor’s comments] because they’ve been writing on the same subject, for the same client, for too long?

So to keep our quality up, we ‘second brain’ more inverted commas to show we know it’s our jargon [editor’s comments] each other. Before the job starts, two writers put their heads together to discuss the possibilities and pitfalls. And no piece of writing leaves the building without someone challenging it: would that first sentence really grab you? Shouldn’t that third paragraph be the second? You can imagine that we soon learn to leave our frail, writerly added these to give it a bit more colour, and laugh at ourselves a little [second brain's comments] egos at the door.

It doesn’t end there. Next, one of our editors checks the grammar, hunts down sneaky typos and makes sure it’s consistent. So even the shortest sentence has three brains thinking about it.

Pretty labour intensive, you might think. Well, yes, but it usually pays dividends in terms of quality. It means...

  • we get fewer ‘amends’I know it’s the industry word, but is there something nicer than ‘amends’? [second brain’s comments] back from our clients, which saves everyone time
  • we can take on massive writing jobs, using lots of different writers, and still keep the tone and consistency
  • we train up our less experienced writers really quickly in the ways of our elder statesmen and women Added this to make sure we’re being inclusive, and it’s a nice echo of the second line [second brain’s comments].

*If you want to see this process in action, click the underlines to see the second brain and editor’s comments on this bit of writing (and our homepage).