New Post on Dot and Dash

Some of you may know that I run my own editing business, Dot and Dash LLC. Over at the Dot and Dash blog, I write about writing tips and industry news. I recently wrote about sensitivity reading. What is sensitivity reading, you may ask? It’s a relatively new form of manuscript evaluation that checks whether characters are portrayed with authenticity and ensures books avoid harmful stereotypes and problematic language that don’t serve a purpose in the plot. If you want to learn more about what it is, what it’s not (spoiler alert: it’s not the PC police), and whether you should hire one for your project, head on over to this link: sensitivity reading post.

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4 thoughts on “New Post on Dot and Dash

  1. Hello, big brother. What you may call insensitive might simply be truth. This is dangerous ground you’re treading on. We read fiction to vicariously live life through the eyes of others (among other reasons),not in hopes of having that life censored for your–or anyone else’s approval. I’m sorry to see this post. With your standards, many classics might not have been published–To Kill A Mockingbird, for example. (I’m guessing.) This seems like an extension of the movement sweeping college campuses today, which is to “allow” only those truths you agree with or find convenient.

  2. Hi. A lot of people share your opinion. And, honestly, that was my first thought about sensitivity reading when I learned about it. The main part of sensitivity reading is to ensure characters are portrayed authentically (which is why I think it should really be called “authenticity reading”). I have done a sensitivity read about a character whose problem was portrayed negatively (other characters said mean things about that character), and I didn’t push back and say, “No! You have to only say nice things about everyone!” But I did make sure that the character’s problem was portrayed in a way that made sense if the book took place in real life. I don’t believe in censorship, and I don’t think classics should be pulled from the shelves because they are not “politically correct.” I hope this helps.

      • Exactly. Good editors have always looked for authenticity. Where sensitivity readers help is when a writer is, say, looking to make sure they captured what it’s like living with a specific medical condition correctly. So they want to find someone who has that specific medical condition to check it over.

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