A Brief Manifesto
Mastery of any skill requires dedication. Writing is no exception! A good command of written English requires more than the ability to speak it.
Sadly, we live in the age of desk-top publishing, online forums, the infinite blog-o-sphere, and the easy debasement of language at the service of instant communication (u no wut i mean). The written language is under more pressure than ever to jettison all standards of excellence. Even good writers face challenges when trying to edit their own work.
At the same time, written English is still the conveyor of that crucial first impression. Poorly constructed sentences, haphazard organization, misuse of words (quick, is it “laid” or “lain”?) and obvious grammatical errors can cripple one’s communication horse before it even leaves the gate.
I care about the craft of writing, and I love helping others clarify their ideas and stories through better usage of the mechanics of language.
Editing Services: Knowing What You Need
There are different levels of editing, from minimal grammar checks to significant changes in the organization of the text.
Levels of Editing
- Proofreading: Check for basic errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation; incorrect usage (verb tense, conjugations); typos; consistency (numbers, punctuation, capitalization).
- Copy Editing: Check text for continuity; transitions from one paragraph to the next; repetition and ambiguity; consistency in voice (passive versus active; person (“one” versus “you”); consistency in details, use of metaphor, etc.
- Line Editing: Done at a sentence level, alters text for clarity, flow, and overall readability; improves organization; offers suggestions for changes, headings, and links; includes proofreading and copy editing tasks.
- Substantive or Developmental Editing: For longer projects such as theses, dissertations and books; looks at “Big Picture” and reviews overall development; targets inconsistencies in structural organization (sections, chapters, headings); suggests rearrangement of sentences, paragraphs or sections to improve cohesion and flow; provides a written analysis of strengths and weaknesses. Requires consultation in advance to determine level of guidance needed and provide accurate estimate of cost.
I work closely with each client to arrive at a system that works best and am adept with both MS Word and Apple Pages. I use the MS Word editing tool for clients who are comfortable with it, or my own system using highlighted text to indicate deletions and suggested changes. I can also work with hard copy. Text is generally handled through email attachments or DropBox. I offer one free sample edit of text up to 500 words.
Copywriting and Wordsmithing
For clients who need assistance creating copy or other text, I have experience wordsmithing the following kinds of documents:
- Blog posts
- Web landing pages
- Brochures and fliers
- Press releases
- Book proposals
- Resumes and cover letters
- Grant proposals
I work closely with each client to arrive at a fee structure that works. Fees generally fall within the rate ranges suggested by the Editorial Freelancers Association.