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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This is right. Or that is right? [migrated]

Opinions sought. I vaguely remember that the expression "This is right" (meaning "I agree with what you just said") appeared in the 1970s. And I remember it because, if I remember correctly, it ...
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2answers
32 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 ...
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6answers
972 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 ...
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1answer
66 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 ...
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1answer
73 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 ...
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20 views

What phrase can I use to describe connected concepts [migrated]

I am searching for a more sophisticated phrase that would express a specific connection between items mentioned in my paper. I wish to explain that the connection is not like a vertical line but more ...
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1answer
70 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 ...
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6answers
232 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 ...
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3answers
83 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 ...
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2answers
73 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 ...
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1answer
677 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
180 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 ...
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2answers
393 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 ...
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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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1answer
61 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 ...
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1answer
114 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 ...
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2answers
46 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 ...
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2answers
754 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 ...
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2answers
143 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 ...
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2answers
113 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 ...
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2answers
112 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
182 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 ...
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2answers
137 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 ...
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1answer
92 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 ...
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3answers
129 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
211 views

How to deal with two ISBN from two different countries?

Since the book I am working on will be published in two different countries, it has two ISBN. The tricky question here is this: must both the ISBN barcode be placed onto the back cover of the book? ...
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1answer
181 views

Word Clouds and Phrase Clouds

I'm familiar with word clouds (or tag clouds) as used on blogs or on sites like Delicious. It seems to me that a tool similar to that could be of use to writers like me, who don't have an editor, when ...
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1answer
117 views

Criteria used by acquisition editors (for Fiction or Non-Fiction)

What are the criteria an acquisitions editor uses to judge whether or not s/he accepts a manuscript for publication?
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3answers
264 views

Which skills should an editor have?

I've read this question: What exactly is an editor? And that anwers the 'what an editor is' So, my question would rather be, How do you become an editor? Which skills must an editor have? Is it ...
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0answers
46 views

In Flare, how can we make atomic change groups in review?

My team uses MadCap Flare for documentation and we have an editor on the team. When a writer is ready, we assemble a review package in Flare and send it to the editor, and she makes changes and sends ...
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1answer
72 views

Is it common to bring in a developmental editor when you are at the stage of synopsis?

When writing an analytical synopsis for a fiction book, is it common to bring in a developmental editor? I am new at writing. As I understand it, the developmental editor could help more in this ...
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2answers
2k views

Can I, as a reader, submit a “Bug Report” for a novel?

I just finished a new release. I encountered a passage in the book that doesn't quite make sense. Just a single sentence that is out of place. Grammatically it is fine, but in context it doesn't seem ...
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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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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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1answer
130 views

Hyphen or en-dash

What is the correct dash usage when naming a title? I have an essay with the title: The success factors for successful e-commerce - A Linux-based e-commerce platform from an economic perspective ...
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2answers
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How does the placement of transition sentences affects the meaning/tone of a piece?

Example: Finally, I began questioning the kid. What was her name? Where were her parents? And most important, what was she doing outside in this horrible weather? She replied to none of that. ...
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2answers
132 views

How does one avoid incomplete changes to documentation?

Having encountered errors in technical documentation that almost certainly came from incomplete editing after copying from earlier documentation, I am curious about what techniques can be used to ...
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1answer
84 views

Capitalization of Phrases: One-on-one assistance [duplicate]

What is the correct capitalization of the phrase "One-on-one assistance"? One-on-one assistance One-on-One assistance One-on-One Assistance I am using it in a lower third title in a video.
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1answer
113 views

Can stories be “revived”?

Has it happened to you that "you're in love" with an idea of yours? Like a core idea that you won't let go no matter what? I heard that people usually write, check and recheck the story they write, ...
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2answers
297 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 ...
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1answer
89 views

Rewritting the following passage from the negative to the positive

I'm reading the The Elements of Style and one of the rules says you should avoid writing in the negative. I encountered that on my own writing: A deep silence followed after the words left my ...
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1answer
43 views

Resources: Dictionaries of Australian English

I know that Australian English has many spellings in common with British English, but (as with Canadian English) the two are not identical. Are there standard, authoritative dictionaries for ...
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1answer
142 views

Typography of page numbers

I regularly write texts in LaTeX. Its book class places page numbers on pages of normal text but not on chapter-starting pages. Some books use roman letters in the beginning, and I was criticised by ...
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1answer
152 views

What is the standard editorial timeline for genre fiction novels?

I'm signed with a publisher working on my first genre fiction novel. The editor is driving me crazy not getting her work done and putting the rewrites on me at the last minute up against the ...
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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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2answers
100 views

Can the term “Glorified delivery” be used to signify giving birth?

My cousin is giving birth to twins, and I am preparing the invitation cards. I wrote Twice as much love Two blessings from above Anthony a lovely boy And Joya brings the joy The glorified delivery ...
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3answers
381 views

How do I find mistakes in grammar and style in my own writings?

I am no expert in the English language. Things I need to improve are clarity, style and correct use of grammar. Any tips would be helpful. I am writing a large document and plan to proof read it ...
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1answer
50 views

What editing can I expect for a translation of a previously-published story?

A friend of mine has published a short story in Hebrew, and I'm currently translating it into English, for submission to short fiction magazines. If accepted, will the editing process be any ...