These will give you an idea of how I work. However, these are just a few basic things. The best way to understand my editing style is to send me a sample of your work. I will edit it and send it back to you for free.
how I edit
- Generally, all of my edits are only suggestions. I will tell you what doesn’t sound right, and if I can’t figure out what you’re trying to say, I’ll suggest re-wording it. If I can figure out what you’re trying to say, often I’ll suggest a couple of revisions, but you don’t have to use any of them. It might be a good idea to use them, but ultimately you can choose what to do. If you decide to go with something that I still think doesn’t sound right, I will tell you, but you can choose to leave it in the final version.
- I will always correct “alright” to “all right.” You don’t have to accept this revision (or any of them), but I will always point it out. This is one of the very few cases in which I will stick to the original spelling instead of the one that is firmly entrenched in Common Usage.
- I have an unusual fondness for em dashes (—) and semicolons. Many people don’t know the difference between hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes, but I always try to use the correct one. Em dashes and semicolons work pretty much the same way, but in some cases semicolons work (or look) better, and in other cases, em dashes. I recognize that excessive semicolons may make writing look too formal, so I will try to alternate appropriately.
- I will adjust paragraphs and otherwise re-format your writing if I think it will flow better. The first time I will make note of it, but the rest of the time I will do it silently (without using the Track Changes feature), unless you would like me to note it every time. (The problem is that it can take up a lot of editing space and make everything look crowded.) So this is something to pay attention to when you read through my initial edits—if you come across a section where I’ve changed the formatting and you like the original way better, you can change it back. I won’t make any formatting changes in the final revision unless it is necessary—for example, two different speakers in the same line.
- I generally try to always be correct when it comes to grammar, but I recognize that in dialogue, certain exceptions can be made. For instance, if your character doesn’t know that he should be saying “my friend and I did this” instead of “my friend and me did this.” I will always point this out, but ultimately you know your characters best and can determine their speech patterns. It will help immensely if you point these things out before I begin editing, so I know not to correct those. However, the more I edit your work, the more I will recognize patterns and will be able to tell what is a reasonable correction to make. Additionally, I will always correct only the things that a character would not be able to hear in dialogue. No one would be able to hear the difference between “all right” and “alright,” or “your” vs. “you’re.”
- Most people seem to pick a side when it comes to commas. Some people hate them and try to keep them out of writing in an effort to make reading faster and easier. Others add them in liberally, wherever they feel like a natural pause would occur. If you haven’t noticed already, I am definitely in the latter camp! I love commas. If you tend not to use them, please let me know before we start the project, unless you want your manuscript to come back with a boatload of unnecessary commas!
Now you know my editing quirks! If you think you might like to work with me, please have a look at the services I offer.