Editors turn the ordinary into the extraordinary

Whenever we write, we become attached to our writing, and it can then be difficult to review our work objectively.

Possibly we’ve forgotten to answer three basic questions we need to ask before we write:

  • Why am I writing this? What do I want this to achieve?
  • Who will read this? How familiar will they be with the subject and the terminology?
  • What is my call to action? What do I want my readers to understand or do?

That’s where an editor can help.

Editors haven’t as much invested in the document as does the writer: editors want to help you achieve your writing objectives.

  1. Editors maintain a distance and can see both the overall picture and the details. This allows me to check that you have answered those three basic questions.
  2. Editors review the logical progression of your argument, the flow of the story you’re telling.
  3. Editors check that your language style, use of specialised terms and illustrations are appropriate to your audience.
  4. Editors assess the effectiveness of the presentation of your document and its readability.
  5. Editors deal with the ‘nitty-gritty’ – spelling, grammar, punctuation, consistency of headings, fonts, colours, terminology, etc.

So often it’s our familiarity with our writing that hinders us from delivering our message as clearly and succinctly as we can. Perhaps we’ve struggled to find a word that exactly fits, or a better way to express a concept.

An experienced editor makes suggestions that will have you saying, ‘Yes, that’s what I meant to say.’

But remember, a good editor

  •  always respects your voice – you still want your writing to sound as though you’ve written it.
  • only makes suggestions – if you don’t like the suggested change, you don’t have to accept it.
  • works with you to create an extraordinary document.

Your editor is your collaborator.

While a trusted colleague will often contribute valuable advice, it’s the editor’s experience and expertise in how ‘writing’ works, rather than the subject area, that gives that extra sharpness to your writing.

More tips to sharpen your writing are always available on my website.

Do you have any experiences (good or bad) with an editor that you’d like to share?

Brisbane editor and proofreader
Editors collaborate

What Readers Want

It seems to me that everyone in business is being told to write… write articles, blogs, ebooks… anything and everything.

Yes, it’s a great way to raise your profile and increase awareness of your product or service.
BUT you want your writing to attract customers, not send them away.

Here’s my first comment about what readers want:

Your readers’ first impression of your writing is visual. They won’t be too inclined to read if all they see is big chunks of text.

    • So break up your text.

Consider using headings, consistent paragraph spacinglists, bullet points, indents

 These all create lots of white space that will encourage your reader to feel this will be easy to read,
rather than putting it into the ‘do later’ basket.

Take a wander through my blogs – you’ll find more tips to help you write with your readers as your top priority.

What have been your experiences with documents that have been too hard to read?

Contact me for help to sharpen your writing, and to have the confidence your writing is clear, engaging and sharp.

Brisbane editor and proofreader, Desolie Page, Accredited Editor
Perfect Pages: supporting nonfiction writers