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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4answers
56 views

How much does imperfect grammar put off an agent?

I've written a novel and looking back the story line was good but the grammar wasn't great. I submitted the book to a few agents and received some constructive comments which I took on board. I have ...
3
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3answers
102 views

Web-based WYSIWYG Markdown editor with commenting?

My question is similar to this one, but with (hopefully) a clearly defined use case: sharing and reviewing basic tech docs with a minimal, intuitive GUI. I'm producing technical documents using MS ...
3
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2answers
101 views

when to ask for feedback of novel?

At what stage in writing do you ask for feedback on your new story? After writing a plot outline? After the first draft? After the second draft? After you polish it for the public? What kind of ...
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2answers
36 views

Including (public domain?) lyrics of song [Shannandoah] in screenplay?

I am adapting a screenplay based on my historical fiction (Journal of Rudd) [Amazon.com]. In the screenplay, the lyrics of Shannandoah, are heard once. May I publish a few lines with the words?
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5answers
10k 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 ...
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6answers
1k 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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9answers
1k 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 ...
0
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1answer
53 views

How to hack Scrivener's appearance or add binder to full screen composition mode?

I really enjoy using Scrivener to write. I don't actually use all of its features -- in truth, I would be satisfied if the program only offered its full screen composition mode plus the binder on the ...
3
votes
2answers
84 views

Where to find beta readers? [duplicate]

Since I left my writer's group out of personality issues, invariably somebody becomes a know-it-all, it's been a real struggle to find people willing to invest time. The friends/acquaintances I have ...
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1answer
33 views

Remote work advice? [closed]

I apologize if this is a tedious question but … My wife and I may be moving overseas soon and I have been considering looking for work that I can do remotely, possibly writing. My background is that ...
3
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3answers
39 views

How should book credit and profit be given for an individual editor?

I have no prior experience as an book/Ebook writer, nevertheless I've been able to write my first full book (which I feel that I did a good job on). However, I have an issue with my mom, who has been ...
3
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4answers
118 views

Maybe it *is* better to write rough drafts longhand?

I read a forward by Piers Anthony in the midst of his bestselling Incarnations series about how he used two drafts on paper then one on the typewriter and shebang. He admits to switching to a laptop ...
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2answers
69 views

How can I improve this scene? [closed]

This is the second to last scene in the first chapter. It starts with Lisa hunting and getting a deer and ends with Lisa getting bit by a venomous snake. Now you might be thinking "You can't carry a ...
4
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4answers
362 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 ...
31
votes
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
61 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
52 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
106 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, ...
2
votes
5answers
172 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
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2answers
82 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
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3answers
83 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
90 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
209 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
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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? ...
3
votes
1answer
68 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
67 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
196 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
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1answer
52 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
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3answers
238 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
238 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
142 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
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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
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1answer
69 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
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5answers
339 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
76 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
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1answer
301 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
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2answers
79 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
91 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
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1answer
39 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
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2answers
59 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
86 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
80 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
335 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
111 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
91 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
711 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?
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5answers
461 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
431 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 ...