Sometimes you stumble across something that makes you scratch your scalp until it bleeds. Serial tweaker. It just sounds awful but this could be you. Do you overedit your own content, leaving your clients muttering, “Hurry the heck up already,” or send it on quick edits and swift revisions done and done? If you are having trouble moving past the editing phase of your work, check out the serial tweaker aka serial editor.
From TV Tropes to Serial Tweakers
What the heck is a serial tweaker, anyway? It is classified as a TV trope, a trope being defined as “a word or expression used in a figurative sense” and “a common or overused theme or device.” Merriam-Webster also points out that a trope is “a phrase or verse added as an embellishment or interpolation to the sung parts of the Mass in the Middle Ages.” So from the organ solos of yesteryear, we have a trope, and one such trope that we see on TV is a serial tweaker.
Serial Tweakers Revealed
According to TV Tropes—The All-Devouring Pop-Culture Wiki and my favorite rabbit hole as a writer—a serial tweaker is:
An editor who makes edits and decides that is not the right edit, makes a revision, changes back to the original version, saves that, makes a duplicate copy, compares the versions visually, and opts to revise the order of the sentences, then realizes they have messed up the original or was it the duplicate, and now they can’t figure out which one was the writer’s version before any edits, and the editor ends up in a mad slash to mix and mash the versions to create the best possible version before submitting for print and publication.
That, my dear reader, is a serial tweaker aka a writer with the heaviest editor’s hand you have ever seen.
Avoiding the Serial Tweaker Trope
Do you want to be the writer with an editor’s efforts that appears to be only defined according to TV Tropes? Or do you want to be a writer who writes and leaves the edits to the professionals, in hopes that these are not serial editors that you are dealing with? Give your serial tweaking a break and work to edit with a swiftness. Then, pass along the content. It is always better to have your work read and put into action than dropped due to a missed deadline because your serial tweaker self went off the rails.
Want to learn more about how to better edit your work as a writer? Check out Writer Tools for Success: Apps and Software.
“Welcome. I’m the Whispering Wordsmith of the Woods, An Old Man Willow type cunning the lit forest, Disrupting textbookish writers with grammar snaps and cracks.” As a professional web content writer for small-to-medium businesses, Miranda B understands how to effectively balance technical jargon and personal brand messaging. Her content is sticky, evergreen when expected to be, and always creative. Keep ’em coming back for more, that’s Miranda’s motto!