Go ahead and write that book you’ve been daydreaming about for so long. Get it down on paper while it’s still fresh in your mind. Have fun with it and try not to worry about nitpicky details. Give yourself the freedom to write and a room of your own, and you’ll find yourself with a rough draft in a couple of months.You can do it if you tell your internal editor to take a hike.
Picture the scene where the writer rips the sheet of paper out of the typewriter, balls it up and tosses it into the waste basket. That’s the internal editor obstructing the creative process. For many writers the cure for writer’s block is a long walk, a warm bath, a glass of wine, and the freedom to write whatever comes to mind. I’m talking about the words that have been forming themselves into sentences as you wait for the light to turn green, fill your gas tank, or empty your dishwasher. Those amazing sentences are a sign that you’re ready to begin writing. Whether you’re writing a self-help book, a novel, or a memoir, you’re the creative force behind the words you string together. For now at least, it usually works best to honor that genius and resist the impulse to edit.
Once you’ve completed a draft, you can look over your manuscript, fix any obvious problems, run it through spell check, and hand it over to a professional editor for developmental or substantive editing. This step in the process is invaluable and will help you thoroughly revise your draft. Most manuscripts need a thorough overhaul before they are ready for a copy edit (aka line edit).
A line edit should catch any errors, ambiguities, inconsistencies, and awkward sentences. This step takes time, so try not to rush it. Most line editors insist on giving the manuscript three “passes.” When the copy edit is completed, the book is ready for formatting and proofreading. Do not forego this all-important step. Proofreading can make the difference between a polished, professional manuscript and one that is riddled with formatting errors.
A careful edit will insure that your manuscript reaches its best potential before it appears on Amazon or on the shelves of your local bookstore. Besides, by letting me do the editing, you may find you have time to take that trip to the islands after all.
My services include:
consulting/coaching to help you focus and organize your manuscript or document.
proofreading (“express” and “basic”) to correct any remaining errors in your manuscript or document.
copy editing to ensure that your writing is concise, appropriate in tone and diction, and error-free.
developmental editing to equip writers with a detailed critique and helpful guide to revision.
mini edit/critique to help you choose the best type of editing for your book-length manuscript.
I provide two editing options. “Track changes” allows me to mark the electronic version of the text and send it back to you via email. Queries and suggestions take the form of attached “comments.” I usually return two versions of the document or manuscript: one with all the changes accepted and one that allows you to accept or reject each change as you see fit. (That way you can decide.)
For those clients who prefer to have me hand mark the hard copy, I red-pencil edit, using traditional proofreading symbols, write my queries and suggestions on Post-its, and mail the manuscript or document back. Please let me know if you have an aversion to red!
If you’d like to get started, please fill out the Client Questionnaire. When you’ve completed the form, click Send at the bottom of the page, and I will be in touch with you shortly.
You can find Seattle Editing on Thumbtack.com