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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.

30
votes
7answers
4k views

Why does an author need an editor?

I'm firmly in the camp of "your novel needs an editor, and that editor better not be yourself." But recently I was asked why that was, and I couldn't articulate an answer that was passable. Young ...
17
votes
9answers
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. ...
8
votes
9answers
13k views

Adding breaks in a novel—spaces, asterisks, or a chapter break?

I am editing my first novel and wherever I find a natural break in the story, I add a few spaces. I want to go back and adjust what types of breaks those are, but how best to represent those spaces in ...
10
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
49 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
66 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
330 views

What punctuation to use when a character is writing something down?

I'm trying my hand at editing a friends work, and I've got a little stumped. They wrote the following: 'Thinks he's the smartest one in the room,' Henry wrote on a piece of paper. (For context, ...
2
votes
2answers
116 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
131 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?
4
votes
9answers
495 views

How can I keep my writing from being perceived as “too complicated”

This is from a piece I wrote a couple of years back: The sky seemed like a big, large pool of grey smoke. The weather was cool, moist. A fresh, earthy smell hung on the air. I peered through ...
2
votes
3answers
88 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
94 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
652 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 "...
3
votes
3answers
157 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
103 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
191 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
113 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

Can stories be “revived”?

Has it happened to you that "you're in love" with an idea of yours? Like a core idea that you won't let go no matter what? I heard that people usually write, check and recheck the story they write, ...
2
votes
5answers
114 views

Confidentiality Concerns

I have recently joined a writers group, and one person has asked to read my entire book. She is lovely, but I am concerned about letting my "baby" go and possibly losing it. Am I being too paranoid? ...
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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
97 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,...
13
votes
5answers
881 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
87 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
207 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 ...
19
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
158 views

How can I revise these sentences to be more correct while still keeping the effect? [closed]

I have written these two sentences: Despite her temper, I loved her still. Or perhaps not despite; perhaps because of. The second sentence feels grammatically incorrect; how can I revise ...
0
votes
1answer
253 views

Help me to improve grammar of this question [closed]

I asked a question on stackoverflow.com some time ago. Would you please notify me possible grammatical problems of my question? And if possible give me tips to ask question with better expression. ...
8
votes
3answers
334 views

Are significant edits made to books first published in the USA, for the UK market?

An answer on sci-fi, "What passages were removed or changed from the North American version of His Dark Materials?" lists the changes that were made to The Amber Spyglass for its initial publication ...
11
votes
1answer
336 views

UK vs. US editions of fiction

I am reading a novel the copy of which was bought and published in the US, but the novel was written and copyrighted by a British author and first published in the UK.* Apart from the apparent ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Are there any translation check tools?

Are there any tools/programs that I can use when I translate a book into another language? I.e. I do not want to turn "wrathful grapes""into "angry raisins".
4
votes
1answer
64 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
1answer
205 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. ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
79 views

What is an appropriate waiting time before resubmitting after I received positive feedback?

Should I resubmit it through the regular submission channel or directly to the editor who replied (she included her contact info)? I have revised the MS quite a bit this week based on their comments, ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

Editing an Anthology or Compilation

I'm interested in putting together an anthology --a work containing some original material, but also lengthy excerpts and/or full text of previously published material by other authors, from a variety ...
4
votes
3answers
83 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
1answer
108 views

Are there custom placeholders in Ulysses app?

Does the ulysses app have anything that is useful for creating placeholder text? For instance, if I didn't have a character name, or a place name I could do: {protagonist_first_name} or {...
1
vote
2answers
85 views

How to ask a question and define what I mean?

I am in the middle of the painful process of buying a car. I am trying to do much of my legwork online before going into a dealership. One of the things I hate the most about purchasing a car is ...
13
votes
3answers
444 views

At what point does an author deal with an editor?

I'm just wondering: at which point do you have to deal with the editor, and what are the (possible) consequences? That is, when is the editor's involvement greatest? After or before a deal? I'd ...
7
votes
2answers
99 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
200 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. ...
2
votes
2answers
121 views

One-page tales: what do I have to spit out and what is indispensable?

I've undertaken to write a book with 50 tales, one per page. It is hard going, because the stories keep coming out too long. How can I "filter" the job, or extract short ideas and work?
5
votes
3answers
165 views

What are some good writing analyzing software programs?

What are some good writing analyzing software programs? I'm on a trial right now of something called EffectCheck which seems to give you the overall tone of your work and provide charts and bar ...
10
votes
2answers
130 views

Where do I go looking for an editor?

I have several completed short stories, and I'm considering having them line-edited before I submit them. But I have no idea where to look for editors. How do I know who's any good? Where do I look, ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How should book credit and profit be given for an individual editor?

I have no prior experience as an book/Ebook writer, nevertheless I've been able to write my first full book (which I feel that I did a good job on). However, I have an issue with my mom, who has been ...
28
votes
9answers
4k views

So I finished my novel. Now what do I do?

A few days ago I finished the first draft of my current novel project after a few months of work, finishing at 83,212 words. Now what should I do with it? So obviously I need to edit it. Should I ...
4
votes
1answer
42 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 ...