Editing Resources for Writers

Making your manuscript the best it can be is a critical step in your book's success. We can not recognize all of the issues in our own work, so it is important to hire a professional to edit your book before you self-publish it or submit it to a publisher. (No, it is not the job of the publishing house to turn rough drafts into polished prose. Your work should be the best you … [Read more...]

Becoming Your Own Editor


Writers speculate a lot about what editors really do. Some firmly believe that editors are the final barricade between writers' excellent manuscripts and publication. Others seem to believe that the job of an editor is to clean up after writers and tell them what to do next. To a certain extent, the latter is true. When a manuscript comes along that is so magnificent that no … [Read more...]

Will An Editor Steal Your Ideas?

steal idea

I'd like to send my novel out for publication, but I'm afraid it will get stolen. What would you advise? -- An Anxious Writer Dear Anxious: This is a question I've heard many times from would-be writers. I say "would-be" -- because it is a fear that blocks many writers from ever actually submitting their work into the marketplace (and therefore becoming "published" … [Read more...]

Reduce Word Count, Increase Quality

reduce word count

A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. - William Strunk, Jr., The more words you use in your writing, the more effort it will take to read. Good prose shows respect for readers’ time and brain cells by packing as much juicy … [Read more...]

Finding the Right Critique Group


As office manager of Willamette Writers, a non-profit writers group, I often get calls asking about critique groups. I advise people to think of them as coming in four types: Support Light Critique Heavy Critique & Wise Readers Support groups generally offer encouragement in writing or marketing, and little or no critique. Some support groups also operate as … [Read more...]

How Online Critiquing Can Help Your Writing


By its very nature, the Internet attracts writers-both good and bad. The result is a thriving on-line community dedicated to the art and craft of writing. One way to participate in this community is to become involved in a critique group. Such groups function much like traditional writer's groups, with two main goals: To help members improve their writing skills, and to … [Read more...]

Why Every Writer Needs an Editor


Every writer needs an editor. No exceptions! Just for starters, there are several stages of your writing in which you might need an editor to help: • Clarify your concept • Plan and organize your material • Think globally about how the parts fit together • Read for content, consistency, and style • Craft a catchy title • Check for grammar, punctuation, and typos If … [Read more...]

Proofread Everything—and then Proofread Again


Proofreading is incredibly important. Not only do typos and grammatical errors in your writing make you look uneducated or just lazy, but they are also a distraction to the reader. Good authors or anyone publishing anything, whether it’s a book, pamphlet, website, or blog, need to have their work proofread, both by themselves and also by others. As an author, I know the … [Read more...]

How to Avoid Wordiness


The mark of a good writer is the ability to say what needs to be said in as few words as possible. Getting straight to the point, without trying to impress or confuse the reader, is the best way to communicate. Deleting unnecessary, wordy, implied, and repetitive phrases can lead to effective sentences. Every writer needs a good editor, whether it’s another person or an … [Read more...]

If You Want to Be an Editor


Good editing is integral to the success of a book. A good editor can do wonders even with the worst of manuscripts, and authors who find good editors are grateful and will spread the word about the editors’ skills. However, editing is not solely about fixing grammar errors or even suggesting places where a manuscript needs further development. Good people skills are also … [Read more...]