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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31
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20answers
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
45 views

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, ...
3
votes
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, ...
10
votes
8answers
959 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
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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
10
votes
6answers
206 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 ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Finding before/after examples where writing has been improved, to learn from

I'd like to see a series of example paragraphs, showing before/after a rewrite, to give me specific examples of how writing can be improved. Is there anywhere that shows such things? I once read the ...
0
votes
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? ...
3
votes
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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
15
votes
12answers
1k views

Which techniques can I use to become a better editor when editing my own writing?

I'm looking to improve my ability to edit and correct my own writing. What are some techniques I can use to help me with this?
0
votes
1answer
49 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. ...
4
votes
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." ...
-1
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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?
1
vote
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 ...
4
votes
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, ...
1
vote
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".
0
votes
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 ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

When should a chapter end?

When writing a novel, when should I end a chapter? Note that I'm not talking about chapter word-count (that topic was discussed here). I'm interested to know when should I end my chapters ...
1
vote
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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
703 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?
1
vote
5answers
395 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
419 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
237 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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
858 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Why does an author need an editor?

I'm firmly in the camp of "your novel needs an editor, and that editor better not be yourself." But recently I was asked why that was, and I couldn't articulate an answer that was passable. Young ...
3
votes
1answer
289 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
4
votes
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 ...