Saturday, May 30, 2015

Another post that discusses how the different kinds of editing can help you

10 Things Your Freelance Editor Might Not Tell You—But Should

Such a good post about how editors can help authors, and what the different kinds of editors can do. I just did a copy edit on a book that seemed to drag for the first half--the characters were doing things, but they seemed flat and two-dimensional to me. They didn't leap off the page, and I found myself feeling like the book was a slog. Then, after I was over halfway through, the book got a lot more engaging and I was very interested in the characters and what they were doing.

Now, here's why I'm "only" a copy editor and a proofreader: I had no idea at all how to help the author make the story better in the first half. I haven't a clue what makes me care about a character and root for him/her. I just know if I do care, or if I don't care. It either flips my switch as a reader, or it doesn't. If I hadn't been paid to read that book, it would have been a DNF and I would have missed the last part, which was quite good. So when I turned the ms back in, I included a note with my impressions and let the experts work on it from there.

So basically, I can grammar the shit out of some shit, but as far as world-building and character development and structure, I got nothing. I respect to the point of awe developmental and structural editors who can see the bones of the story and work with the author to bring life to the characters and make a story a compelling read. We all have to know our strengths, and rock them!

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Ever start something that was just so poorly edited that you couldn't finish? Me, too. It's sad because sometimes the plot was exciting and the characters were engaging, but I just couldn't take anymore. I've even passed on free ebooks because too many of the comments mentioned poor editing. It just makes reading painful, and I've got too many books in my TBR list to put up with that!

So do yourself and your readers a favor and have your work professionally edited if at all possible. If that's not possible, consider downloading a grammar-checking aid like Grammarly. No, this will not take the place of a professional editor. But it will call your attention to items that you should check. It's wrong sometimes, so don't trust it blindly, but at least see what it is marking as errors.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Grammar Ninja has a new gig!

I'm so very excited to post that I've been editing at Red Quill Editing, LLC for the past little bit. I've already finished my first manuscript for Red Quill, an upcoming release by Carrie Ann Ryan!

I'm looking forward to a long and happy relationship with Ekatarina at Red Quill, and very much appreciate the opportunity.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Dangle much?

I saw this on George Takei's Facebook feed, and just had to make a blog post about it. The sub-header on this photo is abysmal! Let's correct the word order so it reads the way it was intended: "After getting made fun of, thousands of women are going to dance with one lucky guy."

What's the problem? A dangling modifier: "After getting made fun of" is a modifier that tells why thousands of women are going to dance with one lucky guy. But the way this sentence is worded, it looks like the women were getting made fun of, and that's why they're dancing.

The headline has the right of it, though. The man was recorded dancing at a club and shamed online, and thousands of women saw his story on the internet and decided to host the dance party.

The sentence obviously doesn't work the way it was originally written, and just changing the word order doesn't help. So, for clarity's sake, we're going to pretend it was written like this: "Thousands of women are going to dance with one lucky guy after he was made fun of online." Or something like that.

Dance on!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Another blog post on the utility of editors

This article has some "very" good tips for cleaner writing!

Writers can usually remove well over half of the instances of "that" in their work, but it's insidious! Even the blog post has a few unneeded "thats," such as the one here:

I found this so helpful, that I thought I would share some of her insights.

I do like this analogy quite a bit:

"Good editors are like really talented makeup artists; they recognize and enhance your unique beauty, but don’t completely change the way you look."

That's the name of the game. The semicolon is used correctly in that sentence, but a later sentence in the same paragraph could use some tidying up:

"I don’t actually think she’s frustrated, she doesn’t act like it anyway, the title of this article was purely for comedic value."

An editor could go a few different directions on that one. What do you think?

The comments are interesting, too! One of the commentors pointed out one of the misused semicolons in the piece. Semicolons have many uses:

  • Joining two clauses that could stand alone
  • Separating serial parts of a sentence in situations where a comma could be confusing
  • Winking smiley faces

But when you're introducing examples, a colon should be used instead of a semicolon.

I wrote;
I grew up in a very small, rural town in Canada, where you rarely honked at other drivers other than as a friendly hello, but you often had to honk at a cow to get off the road.
Editor’s change;
I grew up in a tiny rural town in Canada, where you rarely honked at other drivers….
Both of the semicolons in the example above should be replaced with colons.

I adore editing! It's one of the things I can do to help make the world a slightly tidier place.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Editors: what are they worth? Blog post by Theo Fenraven

Really nice post by Theo Fenraven on why editing is important, and how to choose an editor: