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—and try not to worry about nitpicky details. Give yourself the freedom to write, along with 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.
You’re familiar with the scene, right? The frustrated writer crumples the sheet of paper into a ball and tosses it. That’s the internal editor obstructing the creative process, also known as “writer’s block.” 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—like those sentences you’ve been thinking up as you wait for the light to turn green, fill your gas tank, or empty your dishwasher. For now at least, write those sentences down and don’t worry about perfecting your style and technique until later.
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 revise your draft. Most manuscripts need a thorough overhaul before they are ready for a line edit (aka copy edit ).
Even if you are a grammarian and accomplished wordsmith, you will need another pair of eyes to look over your manuscript before sending it out to be published. 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” using an editing tool like Track Changes, which allows writers to accept or reject each edit.
When the manuscript has been edited and formatted, it should be proofread at least once before publication. Proofreading can make the difference between a polished, professional manuscript and one containing errors and typos. Your line editor should provide the proofreader with a style sheet to ensure consistency and accuracy.
My services include:
coaching to help you with any writing issues.
proofreading (“express” and “basic”) to correct any remaining errors.
developmental editing to provide a detailed critique and helpful guide to revision.
substantive editing (aka “heavy copy editing”) to help with structure, focus (theme), development, paragraphs, and sentence structure.
mini edit/critique, designed to provide a critique and line edit on a portion of your 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 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.
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.Your questionnaire will be sent to me via e-mail, and I will be in touch with you shortly.
You can find Seattle Editing on Thumbtack.com