Editing is the act of improving a piece of writing. Questions with this tag should focus on specific editing techniques or ways to improve editing skills. If you are submitting a piece for critique, use the "critique" tag instead.

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Redouble, double, or double again?

I have seen double and double again a lot. Redouble, not so much. I found out that redouble can mean to double again, to double, or in general to intensify whether that is double, triple, quintuple, ...
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3answers
63 views

Referencing real and fictional people/characters in novels - legal implications

I've been going out of my way to avoid referencing famous people in my novel as well as fictional characters, but I keep seeing pop culture references in other books I read as well as in TV shows, ...
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2answers
57 views

When proofreading a chapter, should I try to prevent a few lines spilling onto a new page?

I am proofreading a novel chapter for the first time. I do not have the other chapters to review. The book is a 2nd edition, and several chunks of text have been inserted, so the end of the chapter is ...
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2answers
78 views

Attracting and retaining volunteers to edit technical doc for open source projects

I volunteer as an editor for the Mozilla Developer Network (MDN), an organization that creates free open source software such as the Firefox browser. MDN has a large number of technical topics ...
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2answers
77 views

Can Extensive Outlining Take the Place of the First Draft?

Background: I've been writing fan fiction for five years now. I began when I didn't have a clue what I was doing, so my methods have evolved during those years. By now I have a solid process that I ...
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3answers
80 views

Doubts about editing?

I have been working on a novel, and I've gone around four chapters in. I keep re-reading the first chapters, and I am tempted to edit them. Should I wait until I at least have a finished first draft ...
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5answers
95 views

Confidentiality Concerns

I have recently joined a writers group, and one person has asked to read my entire book. She is lovely, but I am concerned about letting my "baby" go and possibly losing it. Am I being too paranoid? ...
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5answers
167 views

Websites for free feedback on stories?

Is there any website or anything where we can get feedback from online readers(without paying membership or anything of the sort) for stories and other writes that are not quite finished, but are ...
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1answer
65 views

What is the fine line between “confidence” and “presumption”?

I am about to apply to a grad school, and I have prepare the SOP for it (think it like a cover letter to apply to a job). I know the rule: show what I've got, not tell how I think I'm cool. I've ...
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3answers
63 views

Should I have my work edited by a freelance editor before seeking publication?

I have a friend who is a freelance editor and I was planning on employing her to look over my novel before shopping it out to publishers. However, I don't know if publishers like this or not. Do they ...
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2answers
186 views

What is the fastest way to make an editor hate me?

I was reading an article the other day on "best practices" for presenting my work to an editor. It was very informative. But the inquisitive side of me started wondering what it was that might make ...
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1answer
50 views

What are some good writing analyzing software programs?

What are some good writing analyzing software programs? I'm on a trial right now of something called EffectCheck which seems to give you the overall tone of your work and provide charts and bar graphs ...
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3answers
163 views

Editing/Proofreading marks

What marks do professional editors and proofreaders use to indicate that a word is misspelled? There are many different sets of editing, proofreading, and typesetting marks and symbols, but the ...
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1answer
50 views

Alternatives to “The question sought to determine whether or not …” [closed]

The phrase "The question sought to determine whether or not ..." is (to me) like fingernails on a chalkboard. I "get" that the question is asked so that research can be conducted to determine X. ...
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4answers
137 views

Why does this software suggest capitalizing the word 'dragon'?

Why did Grammarly suggest capitalizing the word 'dragon' in this sentence? It says it does not fit the context so needs to be capitalized: Small birds chattered and scooted about in the undergrowth ...
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5answers
337 views

How do I get rid of the tic of paired adjectives, predicates, etc.?

In technical writing, I have a tic of writing in pairs. Some examples from a recent piece: "When you speak, be sure to be clear and concise." "Face to face conversation is personal and private." ...
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1answer
68 views

Can anyone please help me, Is my letter write? [closed]

My dear XYZ, I am highly pleased your telephonic invitation that the marriage ceremony of you is going to take place on this (day). Accept my heartiest congratulation on your occasion of enjoyment. I ...
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1answer
248 views

How can I write a polite reminder letter? [closed]

Can anyone please help me about creating a reminder letter, I sent a payment email 15 days ago. Now how can I write a polite reminder letter to the related organization?
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2answers
74 views

What are some Que and Clues on 3rd Person POV shift?

I am writing in 3rd person limited POV. I have noticed I have section of text that seem to shift to omniscient. A lot of this happens when I'm forced to tell bits of information to the reader. By ...
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3answers
90 views

Revision Process Order

What would be the best/most fluid/easiest way to revise your manuscript? I've read A LOT up on this and have 2 pages of stuff to revise and check for. Fixing the following things: Main Plot Holes, ...
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1answer
37 views

Translation check tools

Are there any tools/programs that I can use when I translate a book into another language. I.e. I do not want to turn "wrathful grapes""into "angry raisins".
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2answers
53 views

Can you use et al. in a Bibliography?

In the text, I have, e.g. "...a major role to play in role-playing (Smith et al., 1990)." But can I use the same abbreviation in the bibliography? Smith, K. et al. 1990. Playing major roles ...
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1answer
84 views

Writing a Novel [duplicate]

So, I am writing a story. I have book 1 done, half of book 2 and of course the ending in book 3. I am not an English major, and I am not at all great with grammar, or using proper English. Which ...
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3answers
101 views

How to write when thinking in multiple languages?

When writing, scenes come to my mind in different languages mixed together. For example in a single scene a description will be in French, some dialogues in English, with a few words of Spanish and ...
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1answer
198 views

What is it called when an author uses vague words for concrete concepts, “hedging”?

As an editor for an academic press, my pet peeve is when authors write sentences like "attempt to conceive of a possible approach to resolve X" instead of "try to resolve X". Obviously one big ...
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2answers
89 views

manuscript new versions and First Publishing Rights?

If you self-publish a version of a book, and then edit it, can you still traditionally publish it offering First Publishing Rights? Essentially I am asking if a partly re-writen draft is it ...
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5answers
396 views

What's the best text editor for a technical reference manual?

It is my first time writing tech manuals and I don't know what to use. Some people recommend me LATEX but I think it's too complex. I basically need a text editor that let me: Type latin characters ...
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6answers
301 views

Superpowers in Writing - Cool for the sake of cool

I originally started planning/writing a short story that was more or less based on a few popular trends in YA/Sci-Fi writing (interstellar travel, superpowers, etc) just as an exercise to force myself ...
5
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1answer
130 views

What is an APA-certified editor?

Is APA-certified editor an actual credential? If yes, is there a universally-accepted proof in the U.S. for that credential? I tried a web search on "how to become an APA-certified editor." I ...
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1answer
126 views

Problem with hired freelance editor

I am not a native English speaker and hired an editor to correct the style of a book that is being published. However, this editor didn't work in the final version of the manuscript I sent but rather ...
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2answers
69 views

How to show that a character is quoting from a book?

I am editing a text in which the characters use quotations from the Bible quite often. Example: Jeremiah turned toward him, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to ...
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2answers
859 views

An organization writes its acronym in lower-case - do I have to, too?

I'm writing an article that includes reference to an organization - let's say National Ecological Council of Concerned Citizens - which, instead of NECOCC, uses the acronym necocc, i.e. lower-case ...
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2answers
156 views

Critical Elements Of A Story [closed]

I've been writing a story and i wanted someone to proofread my story before i actually send it off for further checking. This person is my teacher and he wants me to categorize all my chapters in ...
3
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1answer
290 views

On using InDesign or Scribus

My book editor says that we need to professionally reflow the text with Adobe InDesign software (not just in a word processor). She asks $350 for the job, which seems like too much money. Do I assume ...
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2answers
128 views

References or tips for book editing (self-published books)

Disclaimer: English isn't my native language and I haven't studied writing, book editing or poetry at all. According to my meta question about asking questions about sources or references for help ...
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2answers
144 views

How do I convince readers to keep reading poems with fixed rhyme?

Disclaimer: English isn't my native language and I haven't studied writing or poetry at all. I released my first poetry book called "Bella Poesía / Beatiful Poetry" in February last year, and until ...
3
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1answer
97 views

Editing: Those darn comma splices

I have a question regarding comma splices. I'm trying to learn more about comma splices and how to remove them from some work I am doing. I understand the basics regarding them but I have a question ...
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3answers
137 views

Software for keeping track of book edits?

So I'm writing a new edition of an old textbook, and I need some way of keeping track of what needs to be done, and what I have done. I could use paper - but I tend to lose that. Or even a plain text ...
2
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1answer
77 views

Using dictionary examples in the book - is it fair use?

I am writing a book on English language. Which is bilingual book. So I would need some examples from dictionary. So can I use these examples in my book. I don't mind mentioning which dictionary ...
4
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1answer
300 views

Word Clouds and Phrase Clouds

I'm familiar with word clouds (or tag clouds) as used on blogs or on sites like Delicious. It seems to me that a tool similar to that could be of use to writers like me, who don't have an editor, when ...
2
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1answer
150 views

Criteria used by acquisition editors (for Fiction or Non-Fiction)

What are the criteria an acquisitions editor uses to judge whether or not s/he accepts a manuscript for publication?
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3answers
753 views

Which skills should an editor have?

I've read this question: What exactly is an editor? And that anwers the 'what an editor is' So, my question would rather be, How do you become an editor? Which skills must an editor have? Is it ...
3
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0answers
59 views

In Flare, how can we make atomic change groups in review?

My team uses MadCap Flare for documentation and we have an editor on the team. When a writer is ready, we assemble a review package in Flare and send it to the editor, and she makes changes and sends ...
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1answer
74 views

Is it common to bring in a developmental editor when you are at the stage of synopsis?

When writing an analytical synopsis for a fiction book, is it common to bring in a developmental editor? I am new at writing. As I understand it, the developmental editor could help more in this ...
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2answers
2k views

Can I, as a reader, submit a “Bug Report” for a novel?

I just finished a new release. I encountered a passage in the book that doesn't quite make sense. Just a single sentence that is out of place. Grammatically it is fine, but in context it doesn't seem ...
3
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2answers
194 views

Revising a manuscript and resubmitting to same publisher?

I have 7 publishing houses currently evaluating my manuscript for possible publication. Some houses have already read a few chapters and have requested the entire manuscript, others are basing their ...
4
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2answers
327 views

How to deal with two ISBN from two different countries?

Since the book I am working on will be published in two different countries, it has two ISBN. The tricky question here is this: must both the ISBN barcode be placed onto the back cover of the book? ...
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1answer
176 views

Hyphen or en-dash

What is the correct dash usage when naming a title? I have an essay with the title: The success factors for successful e-commerce - A Linux-based e-commerce platform from an economic perspective ...
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2answers
72 views

How does the placement of transition sentences affects the meaning/tone of a piece?

Example: Finally, I began questioning the kid. What was her name? Where were her parents? And most important, what was she doing outside in this horrible weather? She replied to none of that. ...
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2answers
143 views

How does one avoid incomplete changes to documentation?

Having encountered errors in technical documentation that almost certainly came from incomplete editing after copying from earlier documentation, I am curious about what techniques can be used to ...