Human Dystopia

What is ‘Human Dystopia’?

It’s a 12,173-word draft I wrote in 2014. It’s not a story – it doesn’t have a point or end – it’s a piece of writing or expression of experiences that come to an abrupt halt, and much of it is disjointed. It’s not recommended for writers to edit their own work because of the lack of distance, but these chapters were written over four years ago, without a second glance, and I now have distance.

How I edited Human Dystopia

I worked on these examples one chapter at a time, without worrying about consistency throughout the piece, save where the direction/brief given by the client (imaginary) was concerned. Ordinarily, checking the consistency of a story is one of the key roles of a copy editor and proofreader, but for these Human Dystopia examples I’ve focused only on consistency within a single chapter.

Regardless of my decisions, the ‘before’ and ‘after’ examples are used to show the sorts of problems a copy editor, not proofreader, may comment on or change. A proofreader wouldn’t intervene as much with the chapter as with these examples because their role is as a final check before publishing.

After editing the Human Dystopia examples, it became clear that I was spending more time on the examples, and intervening more, than would be normal for copy editing. However, the examples serve to illustrate the types of problems a copy editor may correct, though in reality this will depend on the brief by the client and the project itself.

What you can expect

I’ve produced screenshots of each chapter, intended as ‘before’ and ‘after’. In this case, where I felt showing a document with changes was unhelpful and difficult to absorb, I simply uploaded a screenshot of the original unedited text so you can read the difference. The screenshots show different parts of the chapter (example 1-1, 1-2, and 1-3, where 1 is chapter 1) because the entire chapter is a lot to digest in one, when comparing changes, and understandably difficult to fit into a screenshot.

Human Dystopia – Chapter 1 Examples