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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7
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4answers
541 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
112 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
votes
2answers
148 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
votes
2answers
145 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
929 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 They've already seen some samples of her unpublished ...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
votes
5answers
271 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
148 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
439 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
94 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
163 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
96 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
279 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
56 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 ...
27
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
5k 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
157 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
965 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
2answers
184 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
280 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
161 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
-4
votes
1answer
183 views

How do I imitate the simplicity of a typical student's writing? [closed]

Recently, I joined a team of writers who write for students. We're an essay mill. Mind you, I've been doing this since 2005, and I've learned to "dumb down" my writing for the incompetent bunch of ...
8
votes
2answers
127 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
377 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
379 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
134 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
408 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
981 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, ...
10
votes
3answers
580 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
584 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
219 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
656 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
353 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
121 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
559 views

How Much Exposition is Too Much Exposition

I am in the process of figuring out how to write a mostly autobiographical piece (maybe, eventually, novel) about my experiences related to dancing (Swing, Blues, and a little Hip-Hop, in case you ...
3
votes
2answers
189 views

Do we need a gap of time between drafts?

Stephen King, in his book 'On writing' (and other writers), says one should put some gap of time between drafts. So for example, wait a month after finishing the 1st draft, before starting work on the ...
1
vote
0answers
724 views

Which Pen Is Best For Writing/Signing Important Documents? [closed]

Regular pens or gel ink pens? What do you say?
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What needs to be included in a corporate style guide?

What kinds of things need to be included in a corporate style guide that can't already be found in S&W, AP, Chicago Style, etc?
5
votes
2answers
343 views

What can I earn as a technical writer or technical editor?

I've been a computer programmer for thirty years and an expert in some niches. I was a technical editor before that. I'd like to be a free-lance editor again if the pay is right. How does a ...
8
votes
1answer
612 views

How do I find an affordable editor?

I wrote a few chapters of a book several years ago. How do I find an affordable editor?
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Where to look for ESL writers and copyeditors? [closed]

I often work on lessons for ESL students - texts, dialogues, etc. I'm not a native speaker and I don't have any friends abroad. I often need copyeditors for my lessons, but I seem to have trouble ...
6
votes
1answer
168 views

What are tips / techniques to manage the consistency of a plot encompassing several subplots ?

When I lay out a plot consisting of interwoven threads, one of the most annoying things is to manage effectively the factual, logical consistency of the whole. In order to be more effective and ...
4
votes
9answers
250 views

Trying to indicate that the frequency is annoying

I am trying to state that a particular question is not annoying, but its frequency is. I have come up with the below sentence, but I feel like it could be worded better. It is an annoying question ...
4
votes
2answers
88 views

What are effective ways of working with a nonfiction editor?

How do you defend the integrity of your work while maintaining a cooperative and friendly rapport? Specifically, how can one work with an editor who is perhaps a bit overzealous?
15
votes
9answers
872 views

What methods can I use to revise my writing?

Background I am finding it challenging to transform an early draft into a finished product. My biggest challenges are putting the prose in the proper order and using topic sentences and transitions ...
15
votes
5answers
6k views

Submitting a novel for publication: do editors still expect Courier font?

About ten years ago an agent told me not to submit manuscripts in fonts other than Courier (or Courier New) and to double-space lines. He said editors were prejudiced against manuscripts that looked ...
11
votes
2answers
225 views

What exactly is an editor?

I recently read the assertion that many great works of fiction were chiefly down the contribution of a good editor. I must admit I was a little taken aback by this statement. I had never really ...