Wheat Wrote WHAT?!

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December 17th, 2006 at 10:19 am

Designer Resources: Tech Editor follow next – “revised posting”

Wow – was the original title “Tech Editors Come Second” badly written or what

A good Tech Editor is a treasure to be cherished and compensated to the best of your ability and kept forever supplied in Dark Chocolates and other treasures.

Or, as one Grande Dame of the leisure activity of NeedleArts suggested, is someone to be treated with every courtesy and care but kept locked in a closet so they cannot escape.

The Best of Tech Editors is two things, Invaluable & All too rare.

Okay so now we have a pattern written. What’s Next?

If the Designer also wrote the pattern, here is where they must set aside their ego enough to be willing to truly communicate and to be especially mindful of the need to listen. The best tech editors are going to question your methods and instructions from time-to-time. The Designer has to allow the Tech Editor to do their job to the best of their ability.

A good tech editor may be the most important business associate any designer can have. Much of the following is focused on Knit & Crochet, it applies to Sewing & Quilting and well, just about any Needle Art that uses String.

The first job of a Tech Editor is to determine if, the instructions as written, can actually produce the item described/pictured.

For Knit or Crochet, the ability to produce a gauge swatch consistently is essential, because that is the first step in tech editing. Can the recommended needle or hook produce the gauge required.
There is more to sending a tech editor just a page of written instructions, but that is not the issue here.
nor, is the fact that some articles do not really “require” meeting gauge, say an afghan or blanket, if you want your pattern to be considered accurate and well done, it ALWAYS has to be possible to produce an accurate gauge swatch within one hook/needle size.

A good tech editor can do sizing, taking into consideration that just increasing or decreasing is not always the answer – and certainly not in garment sizing. A good tech editor is going to catch that if you tell someone to cut a 6 inch square, and use quarter inch seams, that the resulting square will be 5 1/2 inches not 5 as it says in your “instructions”.

A good tech editor is extremely accomplished in the craft, so can, when needed “suggest an alternative” method to reach the same goal. But they also need to know when to back off and let the designer use thier own “signature method”.

A good tech editor does not have to execute the entire project, although they may make some portions to check the numbers, but generally, they do not.

One thing I can tell you, when a designer or publisher finds a Good Tech Editor, there is, to quote one of the Grand Dames of Needle Arts Publishing once explained, upon finding an outstanding Tech Ediotor, there is an almost irresistible urge to kidnap them, lock them in a closet and not let anyone else at them – cause they are worth their weight in diamonds (gold is too cheap these days) and more difficult to find than any other single service provider in the market.

What do you look for when searching for a Tech Editor?

Inquiring minds want to know

P.S. To read more posts in this series, select the category

It Is All Just Business

from the side bar or Search for Designer Resources

 

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