Editing and proofreading is a professional service that every writer needs … even if you’re an editor yourself. Trying to correct and find problems in your own work is limiting. You need that second opinion, that second pair of eyes to see what your mind might skip right over because the mind convinces the eye to see what it expects to see, whether that’s what in print/on-screen or not. Words and images in print or online are forever, and they can and will come back to haunt you!
Typos, autocorrect, which can cause as many problems as it corrects by inserting an incorrect word just as often as the right one, especially synonyms like “rode” and “road”, aren’t the only concern. Awkward phraseology, verb tenses (an author’s nightmare–we think in present tense, but usually write in third-person past) can cause your reader to stop reading and move onto something else. There’s so much online to read!
Some genres and authors, both fiction and nonfiction, are using first-person present tense, which was a complete no-no in the writing industry when I was educated and have worked for many years. But every decade or so, experimental “new” ideas surface that are supposed to be unique and alternative. Have you ever heard, “There’s nothing new under the sun”? It’s a very true statement. It’s all been tried before and much has not stood the test of time.
We try to remain current and far-reaching for the future as writers, but it seems like the rules change all the time. There is this lackadaisical attitude that anything goes and typos, inaccuracies … well, they’re just to be accepted as “that’s the way it is–overlook them, and that’s not a misspelling, I’ve just created a new word!”
Styles change and words emerge, but as an avid reader, author, and editor I constantly stay in touch with what’s new in the writing industry to keep my clients on-track and in-sync with evolving trends. Yet, nowhere are typos, misused grammar, misspellings, and unclear syntax an attractive addition to a written piece.
The writing industry is more competitive and overcrowded than ever and that is going to keep escalating with technology. Write about what you care about, and just as importantly, care about the quality of what you write.
Best Wishes on Your Writing Endeavors!
–Deborah A. Bowman
I’m trying to keep a promise
I think it will be harmless
To write something every day
To help someone on their way
To express what they feel
Penning words to describe what’s real
Hiding in the depths of our hearts
Words bring people together
Don’t let them tear us apart
Let words and feelings make us all better
Than we were at the start of each new day
Spreading gifts of creativity to everyone along our way
By Deborah A. Bowman
I hope you always have smooth sailing working with your editor.
I know that we are dreaded like the plague
And good writers all have been known to beg
For leniency, or “for just this once”
“Let me please have my participles in a bunch…”
It’s not rocket science or even a hunch
There really are tried and true rules
That adhere to the ‘Elements of Style’ clues
The bible, so to speak, on traditional editing
There is a right way and a wrong way for betting
On your words, finding your way
To take your thoughts and what you say
And put it in verse for another day
Or lovely prose with descriptive highlights
To tickle someone’s fancy and take them to new heights
In appreciating a well-edited dialogue
So your momentous scene isn’t bogged
Down, dribbling with boring facts
Or inconsequential IT hacks
Who’d rather be staring at patterns in binary
Who cares about your words? So secondary
To your science, technical, and professional views
If you can’t spill the beans on the most recent news
In your industry and do it justice
Your words are just tracks of scuffs
Showing you’ve been there
But you just didn’t care
About the right ways to present
Your latest new plot or business event
When you need to get the word out
By better means than just a shout
Editors can make it delectable–
Extract the extraneous, enhance the essential
Let your words speak for themselves
Letting your editor proofread and clarify
With accuracy and consistency
What you need to in-print upon the masses
For all time, literate passes
Through the online super highway
To express your desires, put out the fires
On the subject matter that you share with your peers
Releasing your fears, making the syntax clear
Yeah, an editor can do all that…
–© 2016 by Deborah A Bowman.
Editing from yesteryear…
Getting down to the end of final corrections and rewrites for Annie’s Book, Blessed With a Gift, I can see the end in sight, but how do I stop the tears? Will they be happy or sad tears? Does it matter?
Yes, I suppose it does. You’ll just have to read it to find out. Information on how you can get a copy due to be posted by August. Wish me and Annie luck, love and laughter.We’re both gonna need it.
Deborah A. Bowman, author
Annie comes from the past, but will live forever in your hearts.
Annie Doll on my desk.
Annie’s from mid-1600s America. She is Blessed With A Gift or is she cursed? How do you know for sure? I think her love for animals says much about her love for everything.
Read about the treatment of children and women in The British Colonies. You may not be prepared for the treatment of children born with birth defects. ‘Twas sad, when wee Annie had so much love and healing to give. But what if she is misunderstood? Superstition ruled the land, but who ruled the people, especially during the 19 years when England, Scotland, and France were involved in an atrocious civil war. The colonies were forsaken. Turmoil ruled. The documented history you probably weren’t taught in grade school. Can Annie be saved when everyone loves her? Is love enough? I truly hope so.
Annie lived 40-50 years prior to the Witch Hysteria. Annie should be safe, but …
Enjoy Annie’s happiness and spirit as a healer and herbalist. She’s a happy little girl. She’s a savant and a telepathic receiver, and above average in some aspects of her life, but she canna’ count or read. Annie is special.
Deborah A. Bowman.