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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2answers
151 views

What are First Drafts, Second Drafts, etc.?

I've been reading a few questions on this site, and I've seen the terms First, Second or Third Drafts. What does this refer to actually? And could someone give a clear detail of what they are, and why ...
3
votes
4answers
204 views

Should I edit the first draft until I'm totally satisfied or should I leave that to the third draft?

After having waited for three months for the first draft of my novel to "cool off," I've finally decided to work on the second one. But now I'm presented with who options: 1) edit the this first ...
1
vote
3answers
201 views

How can I avoid word repetition in the following paragraph?

Eri knelt down slowly and thought about her world. The one with the solid ground in which she had stood all her life. Would that surface break apart one day? And when it did, what would happen ...
1
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2answers
219 views

What to do when you get stuck trying to connect sentences?

At first I blamed coffee (I thought caffeine had a chemical which blocked "editing" skills). But then I realized it happens to me from time to time regardless of what I drink or in which mood I am. ...
6
votes
2answers
304 views

Tips to identify “noise” or “clutter” in your story

I'm a fan of minimalism so I tend to write stories which are as simple as possible. And sometimes I add elements that don't have a concrete explanation. I leave that to interpretation of the reader. ...
2
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3answers
173 views

Does a character have to define himself to be engaging?

I have a short story named Cured (which asks the question "What if you could take a pill to increase your empathy?"), in which the main character (Tony) doesn't talk or show much about himself until ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Metrics for assessing the persuasiveness of a paper?

Are there any known variables to measure, or questions to ask in survey, in order to asses the persuasiveness of a paper? For example, I'm not sure if omitting a section from my paper might actually ...
3
votes
2answers
301 views

What are the common editing requirements for a short story in an anthology?

What kind of responses will come back from an editor after a short story is accepted in an anthology? Specifically, is it common for a writer to hear that an accepted story has potential but needs ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

What is the better job for an English major: copy-editor or editor in chief?

I am a recent college graduate with a Bachelor's degree in English. I have been asked to join a new startup online magazine as an editor. I have the choice to be either a Copy-Editor or Editor in ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

Maintaining the consistency of voice and spontaneity throughout a piece

So straight to it, I don't write very long pieces. Usually poetry or flash fiction and a smattering of short stories whenever it needs to be longer, though I have aspirations (mostly just dreams) of ...
1
vote
3answers
132 views

Critique: Make excerpt more visual/flow better

I have this excerpt I'm not sure is fluid and visual enough: Peter came out of the café rubbing his tummy. The chipmunk had a smile on the face and seemed content. Not too far behind him ...
2
votes
2answers
194 views

Where can I find lists of commonly used words to avoid?

I have a theory that good prose style comes in part from avoiding complicated, abstract, and pretentious words. Are there any good lists of words to avoid, preferably with suggested alternatives? I'm ...
4
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3answers
310 views

How to minimize language mistakes while writing

While it's true that: Editors do proof reading for you, and word processors have spell checking and grammar checking you do not always have an editor available, and software tools aren't perfect ...
8
votes
1answer
765 views

how should a writer use version control to track drafts, rewrites, and revisions?

I'm a writer, not a programmer. I'm just now for the first time learning about version control and how it works, and I am wondering how version control could streamline my workflow. In a previous ...
4
votes
2answers
223 views

What is the role of editors in news media today?

Back when rocks were soft and the world wide web hadn't yet been invented, I worked on a college newspaper that, I was told, followed the same patterns as professional papers. (That is, the skills we ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Describe all corrections as clearly and unambiguously as possible

I have a paper that will be published. The editor sent me an email to return corrections. The requirement: Please follow one of the following two options for returning proof corrections: 1) ...
4
votes
1answer
188 views

How can I prepare for a career in instruction writing and editing?

To technical background authors (e.g. Isaac Rabinovitch) who would possibly work in teams with non-technically trained writers: How can I prepare myself to be able to do what you do? How can I ...
3
votes
1answer
832 views

How do I change a novel from first person to limited third person?

For various reasons (increased clarity, and an interested agent), I'm rewriting what was once two first-person POVs into a third person limited POV. Other answers have previously established the ...
1
vote
2answers
206 views

Possible interactions of punctuation marks with the word “however” in a novel

When using the word however in my story, I feel like using a semicolon before it disrupts the flow of words in the readers head too much. So, is the usage of a comma or semicolon necessary in front ...
10
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7answers
826 views

Text Editors. Suggesting & Tracking Changes to Plain-Text Documents

Many word processors are capable to tracking and displaying changes made to a document. Those changes are typically displayed in special markup supported by the editor. E.g. But when using a plain ...
2
votes
5answers
201 views

Where to find editors to hire for tech blog?

Recently, I secured a job with big MNC. Now, I want to concentrate on it and appoint 2-3 editors to look after mildly popular tech blog. Can you guys suggest where should I search or post to hire ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Looking for some tips on how to improve writing [closed]

I have just completed my first draft of a novel. Now the story is completed it's time to capture the style so the reader can engage in the story. I want to make sure the story style is easy enough for ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

How many errors should I expect from a proofreader?

I hired a proofreader (typos, commonly confused words, minor grammar issues etc) to look at my work, which I plan to self publish. She found most typos, but from a 66,000 word novel, missed about 10. ...
4
votes
2answers
242 views

How much $ to calculate for an Editor

I plan to self publish a book (non fiction). Currently I have 150.000 characters, but when it's done I will end up with around 250.000. I am not a native english speaker but write the book in english, ...
7
votes
4answers
667 views

Is the first draft of a novel usually shorter than the finished work?

I finished the first draft of a novel I'm writing. Right now, it has 17000 words. I've heard that novels these days range from 60,000 to 150,000 words, so I'm a little bit worried (I'm hoping to have ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

How can I improve the effectiveness of my examples to grab the recruiters attention?

I am in the process of answering the question please indicate any leadership roles you have held for a particular job application but still feel as if my replies lack a certain crispness and flow. So ...
7
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2answers
158 views

How do I escape my own experience?

When writing academic text, you're often in the position of having to write introductory or explanatory material for your audience. Usually you write this kind of material after you've explored the ...
6
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2answers
154 views

If I'm going to hire a copyeditor, do I need to do any proofing myself?

For my book I'm planning to self-pub, I aim to hire a copyeditor / proofreader at some point. The question is this: Should I do any proofreading myself, other than using a spell checker? Currently, ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

First-time meeting with publisher & editors (What to expect)

My fiancée is a first-time children's book author. What should she expect from her first meeting with the publisher and editors? Any advice? They've already seen some samples of her unpublished ...
3
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5answers
309 views

My first act is lengthy. And I cannot shorten it. Any Suggestions?

After the great amount of encouragement that you all gave me here, you'd be happy to know that I finally started writing my novel and I'm writing whenever I get time. Special thanks goes to Lauren for ...
2
votes
3answers
176 views

Is it a bad idea to linger too long on a first draft?

I'm currently working on the first draft of a screenplay, and it's not very good right now. It's little things; some parts go too quickly or slowly, other dialogue exchanges need improvement, and ...
9
votes
4answers
464 views

When writing on paper, how do you move things about?

I am amazed thinking how people used to write before the computer ever came about. Before that, everyone was forced to write on paper. I'd very much like to write on paper but my ideas come in a ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

How to make out that my work doesn't require any more editing?

Considering that I'm writing a novel or a short story story (fiction) and I penned down the first draft. And then I began editing it, but how to make sure it doesn't require any more editing. I mean, ...
1
vote
1answer
184 views

How well would this beginning sell the book to readers? Not necessarily for money

Disclaimer: English isn't my native language. A while back, I posted this and this. I got... well, reviews. While not outright helpful (ie. indirect, which is the whole point of critiques, I guess) ...
-1
votes
2answers
97 views

Fixing fundamental flaws of structure and composition under deadline

The Backstory: I have a project due in the next few days and noticed about halfway through the editing, rewriting and revision process that my initial approach to the subject matter and my argument ...
9
votes
2answers
360 views

Are online critique groups a good substitute for editors?

I'm thinking of self publishing. Now what all the blogs tell me I have to do is hire a professional editor, who will see any plot / character holes, other story problems etc. (For the moment, I'm not ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

How can a practical learner get up to speed on APA quickly?

I'd like to learn the APA style guide, so that, in addition to the fiction and general non-fiction I work on currently, I can start accepting academic editing jobs. However, I know very little about ...
29
votes
16answers
3k views

How can I catch more errors when I proofread?

I have a problem where I often proof my own writing and I don't catch all the errors while I am reading through it. I often miss entire words out of sentences or find myself repeating words. I can ...
1
vote
3answers
7k views

How to write a powerful but uncomplicated conference biography?

I am working on a bio for a development conference I am presenting at. My writing style causes my Flesch Reading Ease score to trend high. While I like what I have below I'd like to simplify it a bit ...
2
votes
1answer
172 views

Style signatures and uncommon formatting patterns

Style signatures are bits of words and phrases used consistently throughout the entirety of a work (but not necessarily among my unrelated works). I would like to try using style signatures in a work ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Is Scrivener involved in the editorial process, or is it strictly a writer's development tool?

Is there any reason that an editor should know how to use Scrivener? I generally see manuscripts after they're out of draft but before proofreading. (I'm an editor.) However, I see a lot of talk ...
13
votes
3answers
233 views

How do you avoid the problem of a collaborative work having separate voices?

I've not done collaborative writing before, but I've read several works, and sometimes the text strikes me as having a split personality: some parts were clearly written by one author, while others ...
4
votes
4answers
295 views

Best text procesor— keyboard focussed UI

I am a programmer by profession and am looking for good text processors to help me with my blog writing. Word(MS/OpenOffice) has felt too clunky, because of the interruptions(corrections,formatting ...
8
votes
5answers
168 views

How can I edit my own, very old work?

I have about a hundred pages of a novel I wrote in high school, I like the concept behind the writing but I'm finding it extremely difficult to go back and read/edit it again. I last edited the ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

emacs for creative writing

Does anyone know a good emacs configuration for creative writing? I'd be looking for the ability to write, edit, and export to libre office or word (so the less technical people get edit/view). I'm ...
8
votes
2answers
135 views

What to do with my odd-length work?

I've just about finished up the first draft of a piece of work I've put a good deal of love into. It's genre fiction (paranormal/supernatural horror/urban fantasy/whatever they're calling it this ...
5
votes
1answer
451 views

How do I qualify as a sub-editor?

I've seen a lot of sub-editing jobs advertised lately and I'm wondering what qualifications (and experience?) such a role would require. Is there a particular sub-editing/proofreading course I should ...
6
votes
3answers
395 views

How do I start editing my novel?

I had written the first draft of my book and put it in the freezer almost 6 weeks ago. Yesterday I took it out, and after going through a first read to note my reactions, I have decided to start work ...
1
vote
3answers
135 views

How can I condense a description of a web designer/developer's work into a one-liner?

How can I condense this sentence into a one-liner? Being alone on the project, this web designer/developer held the responsibility of - communicating with the client and the end-users, - defining ...
8
votes
4answers
435 views

How do I successfully structure a long fiction piece?

I’ve ‘completed’ three novels – a thriller, a coming-of-age story, and a mystery. I’ve had expert readers for all three including Sue Grafton who read two of them. All the expert readers have the same ...