Editing

Every good writer needs a good editor.

And every manuscript can use a second pair of expert eyes, to tell the author what works and what doesn’t, what should be developed more, what should be cut. I have been in the writing/editing/publishing business for thirty years, and I know what makes good writing good, and how manuscripts can be doctored and fine-tuned and made as good—and as marketable—as they can be.

Editing can take many forms, from routine copy editing and proofreading to creative development and structural work to complete rewriting. I do them all.

Copy editing is the process of cleaning up a manuscript, reading it with an eagle eye and fixing the grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It can also involve fact-checking, spellchecking, ferreting out inconsistencies, and correcting malapropisms. I am a devoted fan of the English language, with all its quirks, and I love the rules of grammar. I’m also a stickler for details, and that’s what makes me a fine copy editor.

Line editing gives strength to a manuscript by applying the rules of good composition and effective writing. A good line editor weeds out the over-written passages, suggests more effective phrasing, unscrambles mixed metaphors, keeps track of points of view, and fine-tunes the rhythm and the sound of the prose. I’m a line editor because I’m passionate about good writing style.

Developmental editing requires the ability to read a manuscript and figure out how it can be changed for the better—by expanding some parts, shortening or deleting others, rearranging the material, by changing points of view, by putting more consequence into plots and more logic into arguments. Does your story or essay or novel or memoir need major repairs? Allow me to fix it for you.

Other editorial chores include proofreading, fact-checking, and indexing. I’m good at all of these tasks, and I also network with a number of freelance professionals who specialize in such detail work.

To learn some of my beliefs about what makes good writing good, see Rules and Tools for Writing Short Stories, or Why Good Fiction is Better Than Bad Fiction


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