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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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 ...
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2answers
191 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 ...
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3answers
300 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 ...
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1answer
723 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 ...
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2answers
202 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 ...
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1answer
85 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) ...
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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 ...
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1answer
752 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 ...
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2answers
201 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 ...
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7answers
778 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
117 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 ...
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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. ...
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2answers
238 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, ...
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4answers
629 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 ...
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1answer
114 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 ...
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2answers
154 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 ...
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2answers
153 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, ...
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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 ...
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5answers
305 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 ...
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3answers
169 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 ...
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4answers
453 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 ...
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1answer
102 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, ...
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1answer
179 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) ...
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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 ...
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2answers
340 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 ...
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1answer
65 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
167 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 ...
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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
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3answers
231 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 ...
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4answers
290 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 ...
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5answers
167 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
134 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 ...
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1answer
420 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 ...
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3answers
391 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
429 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 ...
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5answers
3k views

So I finished my novel. Now what do I do?

A few days ago I finished the first draft of my current novel project after a few months of work, finishing at 83,212 words. Now what should I do with it? So obviously I need to edit it. Should I ...
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3answers
1k views

Any experience with Serenity Editor software?

Has anyone had any experience with Serenity Editor editing software? What's the difference between the Standard version or the Word add-in? What kind of results can it get? If nobody has used it, ...
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3answers
754 views

What's the proper etiquette/format for updating a blog post?

I've been doing websites for 16 years, but am new to writing a blog. Websites pages change all the time, but it seems to me that blog posts are relatively static once they've been posted. If I want ...
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4answers
1k views

Software recommendations for magazine layout?

I use Word now but I would like to find a better software for laying out a magazine. In this magazine, I would like to create columns (2 or 3 depending on the page), insert image on 1, 2 or 3 columns ...
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4answers
731 views

Write to the finish, or edit as you go?

Someone asked this question in another forum, and I thought I'd bounce it around in here to see what kind of responses we get. If you are working on writing a new book, is it better to just write all ...
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1answer
246 views

2nd draft- rewrite from scratch?

I remember reading this somewhere, though I cannot remember the source: When working on the 2nd draft, read through the 1st draft, looking for holes. But then throw it away, and rewrite the the 2nd ...
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3answers
741 views

Is there anything like 99designs for text writing?

I'm not a writer, but a technical oriented entrepreneur.. One of the barriers I always run into is that I'm also the lead guy for providing the content for marketing gigs, speaker bio's and website ...
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4answers
376 views

2nd Draft- Fix spelling/grammar or plot first?

I just finished the first draft of my novel, and Im going to put it away for at least a month. The book has a lot of spelling / grammatical errors, as in true Nanowrimo style, I kept typing without ...
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3answers
5k views

Adding breaks in a novel—spaces, asterisks, or a chapter break?

I am editing my first novel and wherever I find a natural break in the story, I add a few spaces. I want to go back and adjust what types of breaks those are, but how best to represent those spaces in ...
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3answers
123 views

How should this ‘be going to’ be revised?

I don't know if I can ask about this in this site. But anyway I'll give it a shot. (This question is a spin-off from EL&U.) Here is a skit from a radio English conversation program, dealing with ...