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Tag Archives: editor

Why Writing Needs Editing

Why Writing Needs Editing

OK, the obvious does apply here. Typos, misspellings, and bad grammar are the easy answers for why anything written needs editing. However, most spell/grammar checks will alert a writer to the worst of those. And going back over what you write can also catch a huge number of errors.

And if that was my only argument for editing, I wouldn’t be writing a blog.

The obvious reason for editing is more a reason for reviewing and less for actual editing. There are two screaming big reasons for editing: 1) writers stop seeing what they wrote and start seeing what they intended; 2) just because something is obvious to the writer, does not mean it is obvious to readers.

SeesWhat You Say v What You Mean

I talk about this regularly. People generally know their message when they’re writing. The problem is that getting the words right takes time – sometimes the first way you put something down doesn’t quite convey what you really want. It could be choosing the right tone, words, or format. After a while, the brain decides it has had enough and decides that whatever it is you have on the page, it is right.

WroteThat switch in the brain is a mystery to me. Is it based on time, your expertise on the topic, how many martinis you had the night before, or what? Yes. I suspect all of those things – including “what” – play a part.

Something else I’ve discovered is that the more important the item I’m writing, the harder it becomes to switch my brain back. That’s one reason why I only submit drafts – my clients are responsible for the final product. And when it comes to something I’ve written for myself, I get someone else to read it.


But That’s so Obvious

Actually, probably not. A brick wall is obvious, but who writes about brick walls?

When you become an expert, the basics can seem obvious. But that’s because You Are The Expert. The rest of us are not experts and may not even know the basics – that’s probably why you’re writing.

Similarly, when working on your own story, things can seem obvious because they’ve always been that way for you. Note the “for you” part. We all live different lives and have different perspectives, what’s normal for me may seem dramatic to someone else. (Hell, normal for me is abnormal to most.)

Having someone else go over your work can catch those references that make sense only to you.

Why an Editor

While having someone review your written work is a good idea, is not the same as having your work edited. The right type of editor will ask questions that help you clarify, not just what you wrote, but what you actually meant. An editor will also help you explain those things that seem so obvious you don’t know how to explain them.

-Lorrie Nicoles

Editing Company or Editor?

Editing Company or Editor?

I keep thinking about writing a blog on self-publishing, then I get a different idea. Today, my self-publishing research became sidetracked by the Book Editing Services page on the BookBaby website. BookBaby seems to be the Full-Service Self-Publishing company of choice these days. I’m sure there are others, but my searches, random readings, and the… Continue Reading

Editing for Self-Publishing Authors

Editing for Self-Publishing Authors

With plenty of variations on the theme, I see four general categories of authors who self-publish. They just want to publish something for their close friends and family. They have a story to tell, a message to share, that they hope will go beyond just their social media connections. Their book is a marketing piece… Continue Reading

What Type of Editing do You Do?

What Type of Editing do You Do?

This question used to drive me nuts. Most folks know that my “formal” training in putting words together is fairly minimal, so for a long time I didn’t know that there were different types of editors, let alone what they were called. Editing was just the process of making written text better – I didn’t… Continue Reading