My editing services encompass two main aspects of writing:
The Mechanics of Writing
& Writing with Style
The Mechanics of Writing – Proofreading
Don’t underestimate the power of a broad vocabulary and the right word choices. They define and refine your style.
Now that so many people are texting, I suspect you will have noticed that proper grammar and punctuation have declined. I believe a great story can be appreciated best if you use evocative words and make the meaning clear with excellent grammar and punctuation. If for any reason, the reader has to stop to figure out what you are trying to say, he or she is no longer reading the story. You do not want to lose the attention of the reader!
Writing with Style
Style is important because without it, you just have reportage. Style may be elaborate, simple, exuberant, or quiet. Whatever style you use, it defines you as a writer. My job is to help you enhance your style and fine tune it.
Does the reader understand what you are trying to say? What you have in mind might be different from what you have on paper. You have written and read your book repeatedly, and your perspective is quite different from that of the reader who is experiencing it for the first time. Because you already know your intent and purpose, your mind fills in any gaps in the writing, and you may assume that your message is clear to the reader.
As your editor, these are a few of the things I look for:
- Gaps between what you think you said and what the reader understands
- I’s and We’s at the beginning of every sentence
- AM, PM or a.m., p.m. – pick a style and stick with it
- Incorrect use of capitalization
The reader may not be familiar with terms you use every day. As I edit, I watch for jargon that can be confusing. Clichés are annoying, especially if used frequently; however, they may be effective in dialogue. I look for repetition. Writers have favorite expressions that get repeated too often, irritating the reader. Consistency is very important. Examples of inconsistency are switching the tense and shifting from first person to third person and back. If you have many characters, pay attention to all of them. In one book I edited, a character who showed up at the party in Chapter Ten, actually died in Chapter Three. Sad but true.
“As a child, I had sympathy for the poor apostrophe that had suffered the indignity of either being put in the wrong place or being left out altogether. I imagined it was being bullied by the other letters and scoffed at by the readers. As I grew older, I realized that although the mechanics of writing are important, a compelling story also requires style and cadence. Now as an editor, I am intrigued by the different facets of each book and constantly amazed at how they all come together as a work of art.” Raven Dodd