Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

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. If you are submitting a piece for critique, use the "critique" tag instead.

2
votes
1answer
48 views

Can one start the second draft when the first lacks a proper ending?

I'm close to ending my first draft, literally being to the last or second-to-last chapter. I'm suffering from a strange form of writer's block, though, since I can't seem to come up with a satisfying ...
1
vote
2answers
48 views

Seamlessly glueing an archetypal plot to an existing story

I gave my latest book to my favorite beta readers, and they liked it except for the very ending, i.e. the last 20 pages, which they thought fell short and a bit rushed. I therefore decided to try and ...
5
votes
5answers
245 views

Should I release my novel now… or miss a golden opportunity?

I just finished writing the first draft of my novel. (BTW, this is my first) As luck would have it, something just popped up in the news which is directly related to my story. The topic has been ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

How to choose an English proofreading and editing services for master thesis?

I am a master's student, and English is not my native language. To review and edit my thesis in English, I need an online reliable English proofreading and editing service. What do you suggest ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

Why do professional authors make “consistency” mistakes? And how to avoid them?

I'm currently reading a sci-fi book that has over a dozen characters. The author had written dialog for two different characters using the same odd idiom in two separate chapters so far. I cannot see ...
9
votes
2answers
350 views

Can I turn my anal-retentiveness into a career?

When I'm reading something, I immediately pick up on typos, grammatical errors, misuse of punctuation, and the like, as well as better ways to phrase things. I have no formal education in any sort of ...
8
votes
4answers
126 views

How can I trim my word count and still be proud of what I've written?

I am a new writer. My work is focused on real people. I ask a series of questions and go from there. Its all about their personal journeys with health. I like to capture the feeling of what people ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

How to do a global find and replace in Ulysses

I use Ulysses 15 for my writing. The tool has a robust global search but, to my knowledge, it does not provide a replace function (only the sheet search has a "find and replace" function). Does ...
4
votes
2answers
139 views

Tool for editing dialogue of each character

I would like to edit all of the dialogue of a specific character in my book. Then I want to repeat this for other characters. I think this would help to give each of them a unique voice. Of course I ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How do we edit a novel that's written by several people?

Two other friends and I have been writing a fan fiction and we basically write a chapter each one after another every week. Now that we're nearing the end of the project, we've noticed that the ...
6
votes
3answers
99 views

Coloured comments in a word processor [Word/Libre/OpenOffice] - is it possible?

Is there a way to have comments in different colours, in Microsoft Word, Open Office Writer, or Libre Office? (I am currently using Open Office, and I'm happy with it, but I am open to making the ...
2
votes
8answers
849 views

Is writing three drafts really necessary?

So I understand the first draft which is basically writing whatever comes to mind but I don't understand why we have to rewrite it three times. Can someone please explain to me? What exactly do we ...
6
votes
5answers
501 views

Writing a trilogy and editing [duplicate]

I planned out to write a trilogy and the first draft of book one is now completed. I want to know if I should edit this draft before starting on the second book.
13
votes
1answer
1k views

How to respond to overenthusiastic copy-editing

I was approached by a science magazine to write a long-form critical essay, and I gave them a 6000-word piece with extensive endnotes. After two months of being with the editorial team it comes back ...
7
votes
6answers
213 views

Re-reading and making changes to current work that makes everything worse?

I constantly re-read my work before writing again. It helps me get in the proper mind set. But my biggest problem is that I make more changes on what's already there that I don't get further along in ...
17
votes
8answers
8k views

Is it possible for an author to release a novel every week using dictation technology?

I have heard that authors can do 5000 words an hour with dictation. For a six-hour day writing, that is 30,000 words. Thus it would take less than three days to complete a standard novel manuscript. ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

A handful of gems

So I'm facing an issue after many years of writing, and several unsuccessful novels. In my own estimation, all my books contain a "handful of gems" --wonderful scenes that really come to life. But ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

Writing a Non Fiction: Need to Format a Continuous Side Bar

I am writing a novel with two stories simulatenously running alongside each other. That is, on each page there is a main story, taking the body of the page, and there is a 'side story' which runs ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

Shortening an already short story [duplicate]

I am new to this group but not new to writing in many forms... I have a great story that flows from my fingers -- got it to about 1500 words - but it must be 1000 for a competition. This has taken ...
3
votes
3answers
138 views

Is it possible for one to be a good editor but a bad writer or vice versa?

If so, how? Intuitively, it would seem like being skilled in one automatically entails being skilled in the other. Why is that not necessarily the case?
2
votes
3answers
93 views

What's a better to say “made by me” on the bottom of my website?

I'm a designer and I'm preparing my own portfolio website. Right on the bottom, I would like to mention that it is I (or me, just don't bite my head off :p ) who coded the website to highlight the ...
1
vote
3answers
133 views

First draft Word count. [closed]

Do you find your first draft is longer or shorter than your completed work? I understand that I will be cutting alot of unnessary words, but I also have a list of things I need to add. I haven't gone ...
3
votes
3answers
192 views

Sentence rhythm

Writers are advised to read their work aloud to spot issues they wouldn't otherwise, and maybe work out what it'll take to fix them. Things you might otherwise miss include poor explanations, errors ...
4
votes
4answers
109 views

What should I keep in mind when reviewing and improving already published chapters?

I began writing a fantasy novel as a "last week of vacation fun project", and it hit off very well. It is my first time writing. I'm publishing as a web novel in a popular webnovel site. And of ...
6
votes
6answers
270 views

How much value do publishers and editors place on informative/educational content in fiction stories?

I have heard people say that ‘good stories are educational as well as entertaining’. But how much does it actually matter in the eyes of editors and publishers? For example, if one is writing a story ...
7
votes
4answers
122 views

Are there any rules to follow about the narrator mixing past and present tense in writing?

I'm editing a short story that's been written in the past tense, however at some points I slip up and use a lot of present tense to describe some scenes. Thing is, it's happened often enough that I've ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Accusing private figures of crime in print

I am the editor of a small college magazine. In an article that was recently submitted to me, as part of the story, the author named two people who ragged him (harassed him). I have sufficient proof ...
17
votes
7answers
4k views

How to survive editing

I am currently trying to edit a one my most recent novel. Trying is the keyword. I asked a few people to read my book as beta readers, but all of them have been busy, so no progress on that front. I ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Eliminating the Dash in Prose Writing

I have been accused — shock, horror — of using the dash (the one that indicates a three-quarters pause) too much in my fiction. Thing is — I quite like the effect (the space inserted in sentences by ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

What is the correct way to switch dialogue between two or more characters during a conversation without it being confusing for the reader? [duplicate]

When I use dialogue within the stories I write I have a bad habit of writing dialogue after dialogue without indication as to who is talking. An example is when I do this in a story “Arden! Darling,...
14
votes
5answers
889 views

Editing tools on the go

I've just started editing my novel. For the drafting I had done most of the work on a phone, as I wanted to make the most of the daily commute. This worked well enough and the first rough draft is ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Pitching an RPG to a publisher: what to bring and how to safeguard the work

I'm not sure how different it would be to pitch an RPG (Role Playing Game) manual to a publisher compared to pitching a novel, but I don't have any experience so it's all the same for me. Let's say I ...
11
votes
4answers
224 views

How can I distance myself from an article published under my name, with edits I disagree with?

I wrote an article for a university newspaper that summarizes incidents involving racism on campus. After edits, the sentence structure became uniformly long instead of varied, straightforward ...
6
votes
9answers
2k views

How can I make my 'first draft' good enough to be published?

One of my bugbears about writing is the editing process. I'd much rather get it right first time, rather than chop this and change that afterwards. Other industries would not tolerate the rather ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

The psychology of finishing a piece of fiction

I have a psychological oddity when it comes to my own writing (particularly fiction, and particularly longer work). Obviously it may just be a personal problem, but perhaps other people have similar ...
4
votes
1answer
70 views

Where can I find people to collaborate with to edit/sell my work?

I'm not sure this is possible. I am looking for someone who can edit and sell. I have a series of books I can't get them off the ground. I am editing and selling challenged. I would be open to ...
4
votes
3answers
89 views

When is 'enough', enough?

So, I've been going through advice for aspiring writers, and naturally, that includes quotes from famous authors, interviews, their top tips etc. One thing I've noticed is that a lot of them say ...
7
votes
2answers
116 views

How do you handle editors who materially change your writing after publication?

I'm a staff writer on a site that puts lots of emphasis on SEO. To that end, they have an SEO editor come back in to our posts after publication. The editor changes things like the abstract of the ...
2
votes
3answers
223 views

What editor can I use for world building that has a tree-like structure for my files?

I'm looking for a simple editor to start getting into world building and story writing which is working out fine in Microsoft Word. However, I'm finding it difficult to continue without any structure. ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

What is the secret of writing a fascinating and eye catching blog post? [closed]

Yesterday I finished my first blog post! I have given lot of efforts into it, and I tried to keep it as simple as I could so that my readers of all levels could understand it. I need your tips for ...
4
votes
1answer
45 views

CREDIT: Doctoral student helping his mentor/professor write a book

Excited for an opportunity to help a mentor and professor complete the writing of his non-fiction poli-sci themed book by providing some 'conceptual editing and framing'. Over half of it is written ...
5
votes
5answers
186 views

Knowing when to disobey the advice of grammar software

When writing I try to be my own editor in order to improve the quality of what I write. When I feel happy I use Hemingway to further tighten up what I have written. Normally I aim for having a score ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I learn subtlety?

I'm a journalist, and my writing work often involves writing reviews. Similar work in the field often focuses down on the mechanical, objective qualities of the thing being reviewed and that's been my ...
58
votes
12answers
18k views

What's the least distracting method to inform editors I'm a woman?

I have a gender-neutral name, so people often assume I'm a man. However, a portion of the writing I do is for tech companies. Because of the lack of diversity in the tech industry, many of these ...
5
votes
5answers
261 views

How to get past the cringe factor of reviewing my earliest writing attempts?

I’m currently working on a novel that I’m remodelling from an old fanfiction novel I wrote around 6 years ago. That was the first thing I’ve ever fully planned, written, edited, and completed. I’ve ...
3
votes
5answers
155 views

How to simplify a sentence so that a younger audience can understand it?

I have the following sentence: Pocket squares are a standout amongst the most vital apparatuses for a man of style. It's important to have the correct pocket square for the correct event. I ...
3
votes
2answers
219 views

Using two-syllable words

Is it ever okay to use two-syllable words as unstressed in a rhyme or poem? e.g. In this sentence using "pigeon" as two unstressed syllables: The śmall pigeon rán to the édge of the fórest I ...
8
votes
4answers
700 views

Publishing fiction: when do I start looking for an agent?

I am just about finished with the first draft of a novel I've been working on. I've been writing novels for about ten years and I've self-published a couple, but I'm looking to peek into the world of "...
4
votes
1answer
216 views

Can I pay to win at publishing?

Are there paid editing and submission services out there that are worth while for someone who is looking to work with a real publisher? I have been doing research into what it takes to get published. ...
8
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it better to save each chapter in a separate word document or all in one document?

I'm new here. In the past, I've written countless articles for newspapers, and I almost never needed to edit more than a page or two. However, I have agreed to edit an entire (existing) novel for its ...