Archive for March, 2010

The Editing Game: Tip #2

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Consider the editing process as a game or a puzzle. You have written pages of material. Now, the trick is, for the sake of your reader, how to make it all read as clear as you can, and as strong, smart, concise, compelling, and ultimately more effective.

The main challenge of this game is to acknowledge your document as randomly flawed. Nothing more than a raw piece of matter from which you, in your valiant quest for excellence, vow to liberate from its imperfections–vanquishing every blot and blemish that crosses your path. You realize that, in so doing, you will gain multiple points for professionalism and persistence–and ultimately win the game.

As with most competitions, you will face a daunting adversary, which you must subdue before taking your first step. That enemy is your own ego, which, if left unchecked, will vigorously tempt you to justify, rationalize, overlook, and underestimate those defects, small and large, that keep the brilliance of your words from sparkling to their maximum.

Once aware of how much better you can make the mamuscript by becoming objective, you will begin to enjoy striking out against every false word or comma that stands between you and your goal.

The Pre-editing Process: Tip #1

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Whether you are planning to hire an editor or co-author or ghostwriter, you will invariably save yourself time and money by doing a pre-edit of your own.

What follows is the first of our tips to take you through the pre-editing process to  a place where you feel you have gone about as far as you can before entrusting your precious material into professional hands.

However sharp your writing skills, it takes another pair of professional eyes to examine your work more subjectively, and to focus not only on what is right with your material, but also where it falls short. So, while your end goal is to hire an editor to review and revise your material where necessary, you can save time and money by first giving your manuscript the benefit of your own professional eye and insight. You will be amazed at how many places you will find in your text that sound the alarm for “Help!” It’s not an overwhelming task, and you will find it satisfying to zero in on those false steps you took as you were writing that you now have a chance to take back.

The simplest set of problems is the typos. These are not always the result of missed keystrokes, but the fact that your brain generally works faster than your fingers. This is why you sometimes type one particular word when your intention is to type another.

The good news, which bears repeating, is that the hours you will spend doing this initial review of your material represents a reduction in the total cost of hiring an editor.

Page One

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Roberta: So, Flo, when are we going to start this blogging thing?

Flo: Well, as my mother used to say, there’s no time like the present.

R: But what shall we write about?

F: Our favorite topics, of course. I’ll share grammar gaffes and punctuation pratfalls.

R: …And I’ll reveal why some pieces of writing work and how others that don’t can be whipped into perfection.

F: Great. Let’s get started. Race you to the next post.

Making Words Work

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Here’s where you’ll discover our persnickety perspective on all things written.

Roberta is rapturous over the printed word and elated over the edited.

Flo is passionate about punctuation and giddy about grammar.

Their combined expertise will make your writing better, and provide some fun for you in the process.