Choosing your editor, be it for your book, thesis or business blog, takes thought. Consider qualificationsIt's been easy for someone to say 'I was good at English at school, I'll be a good editor'. Things have changed since then: common usage, readers' expectations and new ways of communicating over-ride so many of the 'old rules'.Ask … Continue reading Who should edit my book?
Editors fine-tune your writing.
An author who has been using a software program to “edit” her novel has now accepted my quote to complete the job.
As she commented in her email confirming the arrangement:
Although ProWritingAid has trained me to write better English, it cannot –
- make words flow like you can
- give feedback
- pick up loopholes
- get involved in the story
The program is not one hundred per cent accurate. I often find mistakes it has missed. It is not creative like you. And, it doesn’t have a heart… unable to “feel” what the reader feels.
Heartening words indeed. And perhaps something needing to be noted by all writers who reckon they don’t need the human touch to fine-tune their work.
Your nonfiction writing will shine when you include principles of Plain English.
If you run a business, you probably know that customers appreciate clear communication. They want to be able to find important information quickly – for example, about products and services, how to find you or how to return an item they’ve bought. Direct, concise and jargon-free text saves them time, frustration and effort. It gives your customers a better experience of working with you.
But what are the benefits for you – and your company? How can writing in plain English help you achieve your business goals, such as making a profit or building your brand? Is communicating clearly anything more than ‘doing the right thing’?
Using plain English can help your business in three main ways:
- It saves money
- It saves time
- It builds your reputation
It saves money
– and it makes money, too.
If your marketing materials, letters and newsletters present information clearly, your customers are more…
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Ways to reduce stuffiness in business and nonfiction writing.
Perhaps it’s time to check your writing – and ask for help if you need help coming up with non-stuffiness.
Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has joined the Campaign Against the Passive Voice. He follows in the footsteps of Strunk and White (whose section on the passive voice, while more nuanced than many people recognise, is calamitously misleading) and of George Orwell (who complained about the passive while using it extensively himself, even in the same sentence as his complaint).
The campaign isn’t wholly wrong, but it goes too far and it doesn’t properly understand the problem. The passive voice is often better than the active, and its overuse is usually a symptom of something else.
What’s the difference?
Roughly: in the active voice, the agent performing the action is the grammatical subject of the sentence and the recipient of the action is the grammatical object. The passive voice switches this around, making the recipient of the action the grammatical subject and the agent the object. Passive verbs are formed…
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Useful insights primarily for fiction writers, although we nonfiction writers and editors will learn something too.
Enjoy … and share your comments.
Image Source: Dictionary.com
According to EtymOnline.com, alright was attested in print by 1884.
Writers argue about its use. Some insist it’s appropriate, while others stand on the no-nada-nix-never soapbox.
Who is correct? This post will try to clear the confusion.
What do the experts say?
I searched several sources and found the following results.
No, alright is unacceptable.
– Painless Grammar, by Rebecca Elliott, PhD
– The Chicago Manual of Style
– AP Stylebook
– Lapsing into a Comma, by Bill Walsh
All right is the only form listed.
– The Synonym Finder, by J. I. Rodale
– Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr.
Alright is informal or nonstandard and less acceptable than all right.
My hunt through several Ray Bradbury e-books found no instances of alright.
After more research…
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Writing and editing are intertwined. Tips to help you understand how.
My answers to 'You tell me I need to edit my work. But what do I need to check?'