You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Writing and Editing’ tag.
Many writers refer to manuals of style like The Chicago Manual of Style, Associated Press guide, Elements of Style, and more plus genre specific manuals available in bookstores and e-retailers.
Some indie authors feel there should be no rules for writing; I disagree with the no rules position.
There should be rules like the following:
- Active vs. Passive
- Deep POV (Point of View)
As an avid reader, I prefer reading a story in which I can feel a part of and feel empathy for the characters, the characters are believable as well as the dialogue, setting and facts. I get bored hen there are numerous errors, awkward sentences, the writing is wordy, and other incongruities that may arise. Any book that appears to have skipped steps in the publishing process also bores me.
What is the publishing process?
- Acquisition – This is the stage where an acquisitions editor reads the manuscript submitted by an author, or literary agent for possible publication.
- Editorial – If the manuscript is accepted, this is the point where authors receive requests to work on improving the manuscript before publication.
- Design – This is where the cover, format, and proofreading are accomplished.
- Sales and marketing stage – This is where the editing of cover art, or chapters is completed.
- Printing or Print On Demand – This is the pre-press proof period before final printing.
- Distribution – This stage gets the book into the hands of readers, or in digital format for readers like the iPad, Kindle, Nook, and others.
If there are no rules in writing, it is hard to get past the gatekeeper (Acquisitions Editor), or get your book published. If you choose to self-publish your book, you are allowing the possibility of the reader receiving less than stellar work, and the chance that readers will not accept your next book.
As a reviewer, receiving a book to review which needs editing, is hard to read, and doesn’t engage the reader should not receive a high recommendation as a must read, or higher than average rating if the reviewer is doing their job properly. Not every single book should receive a five star rating. If every book published receives a five star rating, unless the book is well above average, then the ratings are useless.
When writing a review, if the book receives a five star rating, it’s because there is something special about the book, it’s been worked over to be the best it can be, and isn’t rife with errors that weren’t caught in the editing stage. Having reviewed over 100 books in a period of six years, most books only receive four stars; there have been some a five star rating because books worth five stars are well above the average book received for review.
I believe readers demand a good book for their money and time to download an e-book. It’s their right to have the best book possible for them to read. This means certain rules in the publishing process need adherence, especially the editing and proofreading.
The final responsibility for any book rests squarely on the shoulders of the author and no one else. The book belongs to the author, and so does any errors.
There are those who may disagree with me, but I have probably been reading longer than many writers have been alive. Yes, I may be old school, but I am a demanding reader and reviewer.
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Reviewer
Commercial freelance writers have a set of ethics they should follow, and journalists have a code of ethics they must follow. Why should other writers who blog or write fiction not held to some standard code of ethics or conduct, even if it’s a personal code of conduct? Check out this article: The Ethics of Fiction Writing
To have someone create a set of standards is not what I’m talking about, I am talking about a personal code of ethics to check facts, not discuss what a freelancer may learn about a product or company, to remain unbiased used they are writing and op-ed piece where a stand is the usual.
A person writing about politics shouldn’t allow their personal point of view get in the way of a discussion, just as someone writing a product review should list both pro and con equally.
When doing a book review of a self-published book, I could tear it to shreds for poor formatting, typos, grammar, and more if I chose to, I will never give a book a five star rating for blatant error is editing because this is a point of my personal integrity.
I will not give five stars to a book that needs editing or been proofread by the author. The author’s ethics should be to give the reader the best book possible, and a reader spending money for a book should demand nothing less.
There should be no use of plagiarism, or spinning software used, my personal ethics only allow me to write 100 percent original plagiarism tested, fact checked, well researched copy for my clients as all freelance writers should you in my opinion. A writer’s best friend should be their local librarian.
Writer’s ethics should dictate never using PLR or MRR work no matter what they’re told otherwise, in my opinion. I am only a freelance writer, blogger, editor, and reviewer, who’s been at this for over six years, and consider myself still and always will as someone learning what I am doing.
I am a believer that the only time I will ever quit learning is the day I begin pushing up Daisies. In this vain, I will continue to work at improving my skill set for writing and marketing. I does this from a point of personal ethics and integrity, because I feel I owe it to my clients and myself.
A ghostwriter is someone that writes for another without credit for their work, only paid for the project with no royalties.
It’s the ghostwriters work, but they can’t tell anyone they wrote it because there is no place, listing the ghostwriter. This made me wonder if this is truly ethical as one writer commented on a blog.
If credit taken is the work of another, shouldn’t the one who actually wrote it get the credit and the royalties? A person should receive both credit and royalties for their work to be completely ethical in my opinion.
It is up to the individual writer, as to whether or not they would ghostwrite.
As a published writer of over 300 web content articles, and having a short story published, I have to think long and hard about ghostwriting. Is the money for a ghostwriting project the only reason for writing? I have turned down many writing assignments because they didn’t seem quite ethical as I see it. I have also turned down or skipped assignments because of low pay for what the person wanted.
Someone in a post coined the term “writing whore” as a person writing only for money. I know that I am not one. I write, edit, and review because I like what I do, and I like reading. I think I am a good writer and am improving as I write. People ask me to guest post about writing and editing. I have four blogs, Hub Pages, and contribute on two blogs about writing.
I receive compliments about the writing information on my main blog. In many ways, appreciation is worth more than money. I do wish payment for my writing and editing. Finding quality clients isn’t when working ethically. I signed a business ethics pledge that I live by.
Ghostwrite if you choose to, I am still on the fence about it, and need to think more about it.
- Getting Started as a Ghost Writer (b2b-techcopy.net)
- Wanted: Fiction Ghostwriter (creativeghostwriter.com)
- Ghostwriting: Not as Spooky as it Seems (A Guest Blog) (chipmacgregor.typepad.com)
Why am I calling this post Writing 101?
I am about to tell you, but first I want to add my favorite quote by Mark Twain, “The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.” Working as a freelance writer, Twain’s quote speaks to me as no other quote does.
Think about what the quote says. It tells me that I need to get the words down, then edit later to make the copy (Matter for printing, exclusive of graphics) that I post, ghostwrite, or article I write. I also follow three rules when I edit,
- Is it cohesive
- Is it coherent
- Is it readable
This may sound simplistic, but try writing this way. You will find that it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Readable copy is something written that will engage the reader, not just something to kill time, but truly engage the reader.
How do you engage the reader?
You engage the reader by delivering on the promise of the headline and subtitle. There must be relevant information that engages and informs the read about what the headline says if you are writing and article, and the premise of a book is to deliver according to the title.
If you’re writing an article or blog post, it should be the best work you can do. Any information you offer to your reader is something they have searched for, give it to them from an objective standpoint unless there is a reason to offer an opinion, like a review. When writing a product review, you have to give both the pros and cons. If doing a book review there are other standards, never give the story away, but do give an honest objective review of the style, story, and characters.
I am asked, “How do you prepare for writing?” This has been my answer.
- Be prepared
- Get the words down
- Have someone you trust read it and offer suggestions
- Edit it, or have an editor do it
- Always strive to improve your writing
- Never settle for less than your best
- How to create readable content (rjmedak.wordpress.com)
- Do you have a Writing Buddy and do you need one? (writersonthemove.com)
- How to Solve the Five Challenges Freelance Writers Face When They Guest Post (savvywritingcareers.wordpress.com)
Editing your own writing can be a huge mistake. You know what you meant to say; but did you say what you mean?
As Mark Twain said, “The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.”
Think about this quote for a few minutes or longer until it sinks in.
This is a quote I have on my outgoing e-mails. To me it means that I must let my writing percolate for a period before submitting it. If possible, have a second person read it also, someone I trust to make sure that my meaning is clear and they get the message.
If you don’t have anybody, find someone you trust to be honest and tell you what is wrong with your article, essay, story, or whatever you’ve written. I ask my wife to read my writing to see if she can get the point, I’m trying to make. I know she will be honest with me.
Never take criticism personally, look at it as an opportunity to improve your craft. Always look for opportunities for improving what you do no matter what it is. The old adage, practice makes perfect is true. The more you write the better writer you become; the same holds true for editing. The more you edit, the best editor you will become.
As with anything you do, the more you do it the more proficient you should become. All it takes is work, desire, and due diligence to improve your skills. I can attest to this from personal experience.
If or when, courses online or offline come along that meet with your schedule and pocketbook related to writing, editing, or some other part of being an entrepreneur, take it.
All it takes is to put your butt in the chair and keep it there.
- When you edit a story what exactly are you doing (wiki.answers.com)
- Writing Advice From An Elementary School Cafeteria (journalistics.com)