Combine skill with passion

Editors put a lot of pressure on writers to get it right. They instruct on grammar and choosing the right words. They point out what doesn’t work and what might work better, and they share what writers should do to create a book that the author will be proud of. But is that all there is?

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Why an editor might decline a manuscript

Why would an editor turn down an editing project? Obviously, there’s the excitement of a new project, income, and a new client that the editor might work with for several other projects. But many editors have another motivation: to work with a writer to make a manuscript the best it can be, and to make the writer the best that he or she can be.

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Prescriptive Grammar or Descriptive Grammar

The terms in the title represent two clear ways of approaching writing. Prescriptive grammar defines the norms and rules, and represents accepted usage.  Descriptive grammar, on the other hand is the language, syntax, and words that are actually used by speakers of a given language. While there are some writers and editors who take the extreme side of these two schools of thought, there is a middle ground.

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Final Manuscript Cleanup

So, you’ve finally finished writing, editing, and rewriting. Your opening, middle and ending are all strong. You’re ready to submit your manuscript. Is there anything more you can do as a final check of your work before you release it? Following are some ideas.

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Order of adjectives

Adjectives are used to describe people, places, and things, and good writers are able to write descriptions that are varied and creative. While you’ve probably created strings of adjectives before a noun without much thought, you may sometimes wonder if they’re in the right order. Following are some guidelines.

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Rewriting—No Unchangeable Words

Okay, you’ve written your first draft, and you’re really proud of the words you’ve set down. You may think that they’re unchangeable. After all, these are your words. However, your work is not yet a published book. It’s only a flow of words that will likely need to change a number of times before it’s actually published. It may need rewriting.

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