Category Archives: About editing

#$%&*!$ those bloody expletives!

Does an editor exist who doesn’t have a few pet peeves about the English language? I sometimes loftily like to think mine are better described as a passion for educating writers on how to improve their craft. But truthfully, they’re also eccentricities (and often mistakes) of the English language that annoy me—sometimes more, sometimes less. In this article I’ll focus on just one of mine: a certain type of expletive. Continue reading ➝

Caveat editor: beware the e-plagiarist

I’m proud of my website. Other than my work itself, it’s the best advertisement I have for my freelance editing business. My site is a reflection of my integrity, my work ethic, and my commitment to editorial quality: it’s a reflection of me. So you can imagine my reaction when, in late 2010, I discovered that some of my content was being passed off as that of five different editors in three different countries. This is a cautionary tale of how I first discovered that my website was being plagiarized, and what I did in response. Continue reading ➝

Your 4-point checklist for hiring a freelance editor

So you’ve finished your masterpiece. You’ve had it reviewed by peers, beta readers, a few trusted friends. You’ve revised and revised, written a second draft or even a third, polished some more, and at last you feel ready to release it to . . . no, no, not the world! What you need next is a freelance editor—and you clearly already know that because you’re reading this article. Every writer needs an editor. But it’s confusing and sometimes overwhelming out there in the world of editorial services, and perhaps you’re unsure of how to go about hiring a freelance editor. Following are four steps to help ensure you find the ideal editor for your manuscript. Continue reading ➝

Starting 2014 with a gratitude list: 15 reasons I love freelance editing

Wouldn't it be appropriate to begin the new year on a positive note―with some gratitude? I thought so. After doing the same job for almost a dozen years, you might think I’d become bored with it, but the opposite it true. I love my work more than ever. To me, written language, along with music, is the most expressive of all the arts. No two authors have the same writing style, and the manuscripts I receive are marvelous in their variety. I’m often challenged, occasionally frustrated, and invariably astonished at the breadth and scope of the writing I edit. I’m never, ever bored. Continue reading ➝

Why “show, don’t tell” is the big myth of fiction writing

“Show, don’t tell.” If you’re a fiction writer, you’ve probably been hearing that phrase since your first creative writing class. In a Google search, “show don’t tell” gets more results—billions—than any other aspect of writing I’ve searched for. And in many of these search results, telling gets a bad rap. But why is this? And what does “show, don’t tell” really mean anyway? As an author, aren’t you always telling a story? And, most importantly, how can both showing and telling be applied to improve your fiction writing? Continue reading ➝

What is plot? Pinning down fiction’s elusive structure

Recently, I was evaluating a fiction manuscript in which the really compelling part of the story didn’t begin until 200 pages in, halfway through the manuscript. The foregoing pages read like a journal of the protagonist’s everyday life up until the point of the inciting incident, which in this case happened to be a murder for which he was charged. While I wrote up suggestions for structural changes that would have that dramatic event occur much earlier in the story, I thought about how my self-publishing authors are often uncertain about how to structure a story, going at it blindly or by instinct. Continue reading ➝
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