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Are you looking for an editor? I have experience editing novels for     continuity and consistency,      readability,   style, typos, spelling and grammar,      historical and scientific plausibility,    American-isms vs English-isms,      and more   I have worked with various authors, including   Novelist of British History  Donna Fletcher Crow  Fabulous Novelist  Peter Joseph Swanson  USA Today Bestselling author  Aaron Paul Lazar  USA Today Bestselling author  Uvi Poznansky And I'd love to know more about your project. If you want to know more about me, please ...  Click here to... 
Recent posts

Ethical Editing

Someone told me recently "Ventilators kill people," adding, "70% of people put on ventilators die. They're killing people." So I argued with her. But what if she'd written an article and hired me to edit it? What if her article began exactly as above? What would I do? My first "edit" would complain that "Ventilators kill people" is stated like fact while, since it's not common knowledge and it's not yet supported by facts, it can only be opinion. I'd suggest she change it to read " I think ventilators kill people." Then, if the article contains an argument to prove her statement, she could end with "So, ventilators kill people" as her conclusion. Next I would complain about the 70% statement, arguing that writers should not deliberately mislead their readers. Looking for minimal edits, I'd suggest "70% of victims put on ventilators die" or "70% of people put on ventilators still die,"

The importance of commas

I saw a blogpost entitled "Can a Comma Be Antisemitic?" So of course, I had to read it. You can find the original post at . And it's fascinating. The question is: What's the difference between "The Jews, who persecuted the Lord, drove us out" and "The Jews who persecuted the Lord drove us out." Or equivalently, what's the difference between "We have to throw out apples, which are wormy" and "We have to throw out apples which are wormy"? The article explains how the comma makes all the difference between a restrictive and a nonrestrictive clause. In the first (apple) case, all apples are wormy and must be thrown out. In the second, we restrict ourselves to discarding wormy apples - a much more sensible idea. (And in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15, those commas really might be misplaced.) In the Bible, commas matter! In writing,  commas matter!

Gnarly thoughts...

Gnarly? Now there's a word that struck me as singularly modern (or Lewis Carroll-ish). Of course, I'm English. Maybe it's not modern in American. And maybe there's a way to find out. Type a serious word into Google's search bar and you'll probably find a link to Wikipedia, high on the list of results. It's a great link and a great resource for serious words. But a word like gnarly? Type a word like gnarly or awesome into Google's search bar, and the dictionary answer comes first, with... an arrow at the bottom of the box, and a label next to the arrow: "translations, word origin, and more definitions." Click on the arrow and you'll find a neat little graph (I'm a mathematician; graphs are cool!) showing word usage over time. And there you'll learn that in the early 1900s, gnarly was not at all uncommon, whereas in the 1960s it had fallen out of favor, and now... It's useful information for an editor and for a writer. How c

The joys of Word or the joy of words?

When Word red-underlines things like we'll, they'd, hadn't etc., you might be excused for thinking the program's gone crazy. And you might be right. The problem, if you happen to be running spellcheck (or even trying to read without distraction), is to figure out which particular kind of crazy. After all, those red underlines do kind of draw the eye, distracting from the joy of the author's words. So what's an editor to do? As usual, the first answer is to try Google. Then try asking the same question 300 different ways. And finally, fix it. Which means I've now learned how to tell Word that certain words are not English (and that others are), and how to make Word make all the wrongly flagged Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish words revert to English (US) - or even English (UK) or English (Australian) if desired. So here's how it's done: Open your document. Go to one of those wrongly flagged words, and rig

What's in a Title?

The headline read "Pope says no to married priests." It grabbed my attention, in part because my brother is a (celibate) priest, and in part because a friend's son-in-law is, in fact, a married priest. So what would the article have to tell me... Nothing at all about married priests if seemed! It described how the Pope had addressed various items brought up in a letter to him--how he supported environmental issues and wanted groups to move forward, etc. But, it said, he didn't address the suggestion that allowing married priests might be a good idea in that particular situation... so maybe he sort of said "no" by default, maybe... And I felt cheated. I should have known better. Headlines are clickbait for readers. Click more and the owner of the site earns more. So who cares the article matches the headline's attraction? Book titles might look like clickbait too. We want the reader to pick up the book or click on Amazon's "look inside"

A Six Week Wait

My Christmas letter reached my nephew yesterday, having spent, it seems, six weeks orbiting the planet. So what went wrong? Nobody knows. We proofread the letter and the envelope. We added the right postage (albeit in a rather strange, printed stamp because the Post Office ran out of "forever international" stamps). We posted it only a few days later than we should have. But six weeks! And sometimes, no matter how carefully you (or your editor) edits, how well you (or your editor) proofreads, and how perfectly you (or your editor) make sure you've obeyed all the rules, some little errors slip by. The advantage of Print on Demand is you can fix them before too many people see them. If you have friends willing to point things out, and a sweet deal where new uploads of files (to your print or ebook service) are free, that's a really big advantage. If you have to pay for uploads, maybe less so. If you have to pay for changes, you'll probably want to balance perfec

If I'd only put an X instead of one

It was an old song, sung on an old scratchy record, and I loved it. The protagonist in the musical tale had won some kind of lottery, and wished he hadn't. At least, that's how I remember it. So now he lamented, "If I'd only put an X instead of one." Maybe it was the tune. Maybe it was the fact that the song really did tell a story. Or the singer's voice. Or knowing I could only hear it if Mum and Dad would put the record on for me... We signed up for healthcare recently - got help with it, because, well, it's kind of a really big deal and we didn't want to make any mistakes. But then I couldn't create my online account, so I called the helpline. "Ah, we're having problems with the website. Just wait till January," they said. Then, "Ah, we're having problems with the website. Just wait a few more days." Then, "Ah, it's the website. Don't worry; you really are insured." Which helped, a bit. Then I ph