2. Prose that is fluid and flowing like water effortlessly moves from one idea to the next.
Editing is a vital step in creating any form of written communication. Think about it. Yes, the words we say are important in the moment, but the words we write down, in print or virtually, live on long after. Yet this vital step is often forgotten in our hurry to post the new blog post, send out the brochure, get the website live. The result can be unfocused, unclear, and, sometimes, downright confusing.
Poor writing will quickly baffle your reader--or worse, turn them right off. Let's face it, many readers are busy, distracted, and usually in a hurry. So be sure whatever you've written is clear and easy to read. These days, one click of a mouse, one tap on a screen, and your audience is gone. Editing can help your reader stay with your message longer and take away a positive and lasting impression.
The Many Faces of Editing
What is editing, you might ask. Well, it's a lot of things. Yes, it's certainly spelling, grammar, syntax (the arrangement of words), diction (the choice of words), punctuation and style--those details that add up to polished writing. And it's a whole lot more. Substantive or structural editing is that earthy quality. It involves restructuring and reorganizing content so it follows a more logical order and framework that suits the medium--whether that's a book, online annual report, or website. It also involves ensuring your message is well-researched and contains the context needed to understand it. Stylistic or line editing is the water quality. It's that process of flow, of clarifying meaning sentence by sentence (line by line), eliminating repetition, jargon and extraneous words to streamline your message.
Line editing can also include the heart-fire quality. Is your writing sensitive and inclusive to race, gender, age, illness, disability and sexual preference? And is its message authentically you--is it coming from your heart? Copy editing is where that air quality comes in. Editing for grammar, spelling, punctuation and other mechanics of style such as Canadian spelling and metrification all give writing an airiness so there's room for your message to breathe. The writing is less claustrophobic when it's properly copy edited. Readers can sense it.
How To Get Started: An evaluation is a cost-effective way to start working with an editor. I will make some annotations on the writing as well as offer an evaluation memo reviewing the work generally. With non-fiction book manuscripts, I can offer suggestions for restructuring in more effective and innovative ways and guide you in the use of creative techniques that make non-fiction more compelling.
"You have provided me with the vital bearings to steer this book home.