Questions tagged [editing]

Editing is the act of improving a piece of writing. Questions with this tag should focus on specific editing techniques or ways to improve editing skills. Critiques or proofreading questions are off-topic here.

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Question about present tense writing, and use of the words: have, and think

I am just beginning to get serious about the way I write, furthermore I’m a very cautious writer so I would just like to know if these simple paragraphs are correct. I am trying to clarify both my use ...
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Pluralising abbreviations ending in S [migrated]

From general Googling, I understand it is correct to add an 's' (lower case) if pluralising abbreviations ending in 'S' and this makes sense. However, I am surprised to have so far found no instances ...
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2 answers
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What to expect from the editing process

So I finished my very first novel and decided that I want to get an editor for the manuscript. I found someone offering their services online through a trusted platform and contacted them but now I'm ...
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How do I frame this question?

I'm writing a script and there's a question I want one character to ask another but for nearly a month, I just can't construct the question even though I know what I want to ask. Basically, I want to ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Do you have to hire an editor to see if your novel is appropriate for an age group?

Do you have to hire an editor to see if your novel is appropriate for an age group? Because people nowadays self publish a lot, I was wondering how you would verify that your novel is appropriate for ...
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4 answers
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Is there a resource (website, book, etc.) to learn the basics of novel/story grammar?

I'm interested in learning to write as someone that has been a reader my whole life. I'm aware there are many website for tips like "every time a different character speaks, start a new line"...
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2 votes
3 answers
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How to Write a Temporary 'Goodbye" [closed]

I'm working on my first novel, and my main character is going on a 'no contact' vacation where she doesn't communicate with anyone in her life. I'm struggling to figure out how to write it even though ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
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Would an editor for major publisher suggest that a novel have more "diverse" characters? [closed]

It just seems to me that for some novels -- especially those published in the last ten years or so -- that the author goes out of their way to make a point that a character is Asian, or black, or ...
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Scrivener, footnotes are missing/misformated when compiling to PDF (Windows 3; V3.0)

I'm creating a novel in Scrivener 3.0 that makes heavy use of footnotes. In recent compile tests on a chapter, I'm finding that on one page the footnotes are being displayed laid on top of the text at ...
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9 votes
3 answers
1k views

"Lack of [plural]": should accompanying verb be singular or plural?

In this sentence: It’s not our lack of answers to these problems that causes us such pain. My word processor tells me that "causes" should be in the plural form "cause", but I'm ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Best method to separate complex/multiple nouns and the verb? Semi-colon?

Would a semi-colon be appropriate separating a list of nouns all affected by a verb/or are all the agents responsible for said action? If not what do you all suggest without altering the structure of ...
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Are Certain Religious Terms Capitalized?

Is the term, "the great falling away" directly from the Bible, capitalized when used in a sentence to emphasize its importance? Also, the term "last days" is in question.
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3 votes
3 answers
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After editing a chapter, the whole story changes?

I created my story last year in the nanowrimo challenge, and I finished the whole thing, I was quite happy even if it was a mess. Then I tried to edit it to give it a little more clarity and fixing ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Are "floating quotations" to be avoided in academic writing?

I am finishing my dissertation, and my advisor was highly critical of my use of "floating quotations" or "stand-alone quotations." She directed me to a University of North Carolina ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Would the term 'blue collar worker' be understood by a global audience? [closed]

Would the term 'blue collar worker' be understood by a global audience, for example in India, China, Japan?
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How do you format a song when it's part of a larger spoken piece?

I'm editing a children's book which includes songs. I usually format the songs as a block quote in a slightly smaller type size and centred on the longest line. However, I've just come to a song that ...
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1 answer
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City of [city name] or [city name] city?

I’m wondering what is more appropriate when referring to a city, let’s say Damascus for example. Is it better to say “city of Damascus” or “Damascus city”? Or are they both interchangeable. I know for ...
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5 votes
3 answers
120 views

Where should I look for editing and publishing?

I have finally finished my first book, but I'm not quite sure where to look for editing or publishing. I'm interested in traditional publishing, but from what I've heard and read, I need an agency for ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Editing question for novel, about indentation, double spacing and page size

I'm getting close to finishing a novel and looking through online guides for the formatting process. From what I've seen, everyone is strongly recommending double spacing and an indentation of .5inch/...
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1 answer
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Alternative words for genitalia

I am editing a piece of writing for my English-speaking friends from a rough translation. I need softer words to replace "vagina", "penis", "breasts" etc. I have used ...
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5 votes
4 answers
202 views

Is it possible to teach yourself how to line-edit and copy-edit your own writing?

Is it possible to teach yourself how to line edit and copy edit if you are the writer? I read others work, but the styles of a writer can be confusing. I need to learn how to edit to be a good writer.
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0 answers
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Should I use a comma or a colon? [closed]

I am a bit confused as to whether I should use a comma or a colon for the following sentence: Art quickly became a world where I could trust my abilities, a world where I can share my emotions and ...
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6 votes
7 answers
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How late in the book editing process can you change a character’s name?

I am on the last edit before I send my book to beta readers for the first time, and I'm not sold on two of my characters names since they sound similar. One is Zeidric, with the "ei" ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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How should I format chapters in my manuscript?

I'm in my final stages of editing before I send my manuscript to beta readers. I'm wondering how I should format chapter titles. Do I put them as a header, or as a slightly larger, bolder font? (This ...
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What can be the guideline for modifying quote?

God does not play roulette — Albert Einstein There are cases that I feel like a change in the original quote would make it more rhythm, poetic, or reflect the spirit of the quote better. How should I ...
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2 votes
4 answers
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Is there a limit to how much I should edit my work?

Is adding new ideas to a chapter after finishing it a bad habit? It's my first time writing a novella, and English is not my native language. Is it ok to edit my chapters many times to get a perfect ...
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1 vote
2 answers
88 views

International English Style Guide?

For writers who are self-publishing to Amazon (especially for a global or US & UK audience) is there a style guide for "international" English? Or must one commit fully to either an ...
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1 vote
0 answers
36 views

Who had 3 rules for submissions: 1. You must have a point. 2. You must make your point. 3. You must make it in pristine, first-rate english? [closed]

I think it was a famous magazine editor. I must be butchering the quote because Google search is absolutely no help on this one. In particular, I really don't remember how the third rule was exactly ...
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3 votes
1 answer
63 views

Suggesting changes in cowriting

I am about to cowrite a song with a friend, who already drafted something. I want to suggest edits. I find some changes in the form necessary because we want the song to be in a different style than ...
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2 votes
1 answer
249 views

When writing and formatting a novel, what are the rules for scene breaks? Is it okay to use both asterisks and double spaces?

I have found information on this topic of scene breaks available on the internet to be quite conflicting and I've frustrated myself into a lot of confusion. Some authors use only double spaces to ...
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2 votes
1 answer
59 views

What order do I start seeking editors

I have completed writing my first novel. What order should I start putting it in front of editors (copy, development, structural, etc.) before submitting it to an agent or publisher?
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3 answers
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When editing, should I use track changes?

I want to keep a file for each of my editing stages throughout my self-editing process. Should I use track changes when I am editing so that I can see what I have changed, and then when I am on the ...
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5 votes
4 answers
720 views

What are the stages to self editing?

I just finished writing my first draft of my novel, and I don't quite know the states of self-editing. Right now, I'm not looking for advice on professional editors/proofreaders, I just want to know ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Will a copyeditor refine both dialogue and plot?

I am a big-picture kinda guy. I have ideas and I love details, but I hate to get stuck up in the microscopic level grunt work - managing accents, tones and environment details that are not so central ...
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4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Are adverbs as transition a bad thing?

I am using prowritingaid to edit my writing and it keeps flagging all adverbs. They have a post related to it here. Yet I feel like adverbs as transition such as finally, additionally can be useful to ...
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0 votes
4 answers
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How exactly does a book go from typewritten pages into an actual mass-produced unit ready for the consumer, and do authors have any control?

I want to be clear that I'm asking about this both for the present time, where nearly everyone does everything digitally, and for "back in the day", such as the 1970s or 1950s or 1920s or ...
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0 votes
2 answers
565 views

How to change color of all edits to red in word? I dont want to switch back to red each time I make an edit

I am editing an existing doc, I want to make all my edit as red (or any different color). What I am doing right now, I made edit and then reach out to fonts and change color each time I change ...
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2 votes
3 answers
127 views

seeking advice - screenwriter looking to write novel

All. I'm looking for some advice. I'm interested in writing a young adult mystery novel, but I don't believe I'm a good writer in the traditional sense. My background is in screenwriting, so my ...
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2 votes
4 answers
152 views

If you're writing a story where the location is based in the USA, should you adapt your spelling to the American way, rather than British?

If an Australian writer writes a story based in America or another country that uses American English, should you change your spelling to American English, or continue using British English? Is this ...
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2 votes
1 answer
704 views

Using "her/him" twice in a sentence

I'm an English learner, and I had a question about writing "her" twice in one sentence. For example, what would sound better for formal writing? (This is not an actual sentence that I'm using.) This ...
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2 votes
1 answer
121 views

Tense change when referring to how protagonist currently is while he is describing events

I have written a novel that I want to send out to agents, but am now having doubts if it is polished enough to do so yet. A big problem for me right now is tense. My novel is written in past tense, ...
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0 votes
2 answers
226 views

How much "throat-clearing," or introduction and exposition, is acceptable to introduce a narrator?

I am writing Historical Fiction Novel. A Reporter is interviewing a Centenarian who narrates the story. The Centenarian's hobby is closely related the novel. The throat-clearing also introduces two ...
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2 answers
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Can I self-edit my own book before submitting to Publisher

I am attempting to write a novel that is easy to read. Totally understand people have short attention spans, hence I use many short paragraphs, rather than large blocks of paragraphs, such as "Train ...
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0 answers
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When should a chapter end and the next chapter begin? [duplicate]

I writing a short story and I would like to know when I should end a chapter.
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0 votes
2 answers
96 views

Should Authors Strive to Write Stories Easily Understood by 5th and 6th Graders?

I just decided to use the Flesch-Kincaid metric for all my unpublished novels, and they all have a 5th Grade Reading Level. Is this good? I remember doing some final revisions of them all and I think ...
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2 votes
1 answer
98 views

When Should A Writer Stop Self-Editing?

I have about four thoroughly edited unpublished novels right now, and I have accounted for a lot like: story (developmental editing), logic and consistency, flow and style, and now including for ...
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1 vote
3 answers
182 views

The use of elipses in writing a novel

I am a little confused and need some help in clearing things up. In writing dialogue and the speaker pauses how do you show this. Now, from my understanding you use ellipses(...). If this is true, how ...
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1 vote
1 answer
45 views

Punctuation in non-period bullets list

Desktop-publishing question: For example, in the bulleted text with non-period-at-the-end writing style, is it proper to eventually use a few sentences for one of the bullets with a period mark in-...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Using single or double quote

I have scoured the internet but have found conflicting information. When in in dialogue in writing a person mentions the name of a song, should it be in single quote? Example below and the part in ...
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1 vote
2 answers
409 views

format of a song in writing a novel

In my novel, I am writing a scene where my character digs up a memory of a song a lady sung to him in the past. He runs into the lady again, several years later and he is recanting the song to her. ...
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