Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Writing and Editing

Does Every Writer Need An Editor?


There’s been much to-do about the roaring stream of poorly edited books produced by “self-published” authors.

And, even though there can be valid reasons for not following the “rules” when writing, typos and fractured sentences will appear in any writer’s manuscript.

Can they find these mistakes themselves?

I do suppose there are a precious few who could

For the rest of us, there are editors.

While writing my novel, Notes from An Alien, I went to the Owner of Book Island, Selina Greene (former publisher), and let her know how poor I was and my concern about not being able to afford an editor.

She told me to contact my local universities and solicit the English Grad students.

After three phone calls and as many emails, I had found my editor and she only wanted an acknowledgement of her efforts in the book :-)

In a previous post, Should Writers Fear Editors?, I shared some of the common misperceptions of editors from an article by Alan Rinzler.

And, for those not challenged by near-abject poverty, I recently found some wonderful editorial information.

Eva van Emden is a full-time freelance editor with, of all things, her own editing blog :-)

And, though her full site is, justifiably, focused on offering a writer her own services, she provides much more, like these clear points of the purpose of an editor:

  • suggest improvements to strengthen the flow of your story or argument,
  • identify places where the phrasing is unclear and suggest an alternative,
  • catch embarrassing typos and spelling mistakes,
  • edit spelling, capitalization, hyphenation, punctuation, and layout to be consistent within the document and to conform to the appropriate style.

There’s also a page of Editing Resources that includes the following topics:

Help with hiring a freelance editor
Editors’ organizations
Dictionaries
Style guides and editing references
Writing resources
Editing Fiction
Book news
Free software

You might also want to visit her page describing the various types of editing :-)
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Should Writers Fear Editors?


Some writers rely on editors to raise the value of their work; some seem to cast the editor as the nemesis to free expression.

I’m heading into the writing of two new books with much anticipatory joy because I’ll have two editors for each book

Alan Rinzler is a seasoned consulting editor; and, you can even view a list of some of the authors Mr. Rinzler has worked with.

Alan, in his article, Fear of Editors, delves into the Realities of the Author/Editor relationship by clearing up the following, common Perceptions:

“I’ll lose control of my own creation.”

“I’ll be intimidated, and won’t be able to resist making changes that I think are wrong.  I worry that the book will lose my voice.”

“I can’t tell if an editor is any good or not since there’s no rating system, license, or industry standard.”

“Agents won’t take on my book if I’ve worked with a private editor.”

“If I do get an agent or publisher, I won’t be able to produce another book as good as the first one without help.”

“An editor will produce a new manuscript and I won’t be able to restore the original if that’s what I decide to do.”

“I’m already in a writer’s critique group and don’t need any other help.”

“I won’t be able to have a close working relationship with an editor since I haven’t found one who lives nearby.”

“Developmental editing is expensive. Is it really worth the investment?”

Then, after his rectifications of those misperceptions, he gives a link to another article, Choosing a freelance editor: What you need to know.

Have you worked with a developmental editor?

Do you have author friends who have?

Did you/they have a good, bad, or mixed experience?
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Get Back To Concentrating As You Write…


Just found a new version of an older piece of software that strips away bells and whistles to help a person make a better interface between mind and “paper”.

It’s called OmmWriter and here’s some blurb from their site:

A wise man once said “We are all at the mercy of our wild monkey minds. Incessantly swinging from branch to branch.” With multiple windows and applications all vying for our attention, we have sadly adapted our working habits to that of the computer and not the other way around.

OmmWriter Dana is a humble attempt to recapture what technology has snatched away from us today: our capacity to concentrate.

OmmWriter is a simple text processor that firmly believes in making writing a pleasure once again, vindicating the close relationship between writer and paper. The more intimate the relation, the smoother the flow of inspiration.

If you are a scriptwriter, blogger, journalist, copywriter, poet or just someone who enjoys writing, welcome back to concentrating.

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