Category Archives for Editing & Writing Tips

Five Reasons Copyediting Takes More Time Than You Might Think

People are often surprised by the time it takes to copyedit manuscripts, probably because they have a sense of how long it takes to read a book of similar length. But copyediting does take longer—much longer—and authors and readers benefit from the hours upon hours copy editors dedicate to their craft. (This post refers largely […]

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Editing Is a Conversation

Too often people view editing as a one-way service in which the editor “corrects” the author’s prose. To get the most out of the author–editor relationship, however, it’s important to remember two things: • Editing is a conversation. • Edits are suggestions. (Though general principles still apply, the following is geared toward the relationship between […]

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A pier stretches into the water toward a stunning sunset.

Caring for Myself Helps Me Care for Your Work

Time takes its toll. Editors (like authors) spend a lot of time at their computers. As the hours, days, and years go by, we’re well served to find little ways to reduce the stress on our bodies and minds. I turned fifty recently and am hoping to edit for decades to come. But I’m more [...]
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Computer surrounded by online connections

Staying Connected during Isolation

Isolating in our homes during the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly increased the amount of time we’re spending in virtual spaces for business, pleasure, and education.  Before the pandemic, I had weekly meetings with clients on Google Hangouts and Skype, but since the shelter-in-place guidance I’ve seen a big increase in meetings via Zoom (not to […]

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Ingredients sit next to a slow cooker

Don’t Lift the Lid! Slow Cookers and Editing

Lifting the lid on a slow cooker, even for a second, supposedly adds thirty minutes to cooking time. In much the same way, there seems to be a disproportionate amount of time lost when an interruption takes editors out of their editing groove. If I’m editing a manuscript and have to stop to address a […]

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Editing with Word’s Read Aloud Feature

After a publisher client suggested that all its editors try Word’s Read Aloud feature to help eliminate errors such as missing or repeated words, I decided to give it a shot. I hadn’t used the feature before and suspected I’d react badly to another voice in my head while editing. But for a last look […]

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I Like the Sound of That: Reading Aloud for Writers and Editors

Reading a manuscript aloud or listening to it being read can help writers and editors identify errors of spelling, grammar, or tone that they might miss otherwise. If you want to give this a whirl, you can read the manuscript out loud yourself, have someone else read it to you, or use a text-to-speech (TTS) […]

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Sign on the Dotted Line: The Editing Contract

Signing a contract can be intimidating. What am I getting into here? What might be lurking in the fine print? When it comes to the author–editor relationship, contracts can reassure authors that they’ve chosen the right editor that the editor will provide the services they want that the pay and delivery schedule will meet their […]

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What Are Zombie Rules in Grammar?

Zombies are fueled by mindless hunger, and this mindlessness is part of what makes them scary. If you have a choice between reasoning with a zombie and bashing one in the head with a shovel, the latter approach is more likely to help you avoid becoming one of the undead yourself. Zombie rules in grammar […]

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Writing Sprints for NaNoWriMo and Beyond

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is fast approaching, and many writers are biting their nails hoping they can find the time to pound out 50,000 words in November. “Not enough time” is a constant refrain among hopeful writers — and an understandable one. Day jobs, family, friends, chores, outside-of-work appointments, life(!) all come between writers […]

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