Editing

You’ve written something and need someone to look it over. You want honest feedback from an editor, but presented with clarity and compassion.

I can do that.

I make editing easy. I handle your work with care and respect. I will be very thorough, which means once we’re done with editing, we’re done. You can then make your writing public in complete confidence and move on to your next project.
 
I offer the following editing services:

  • Developmental
  • Line
  • Copy
  • Proofreading
  • Manuscript reading

 

The project fee will include:

  • Three rounds of revision
  • Up to three hours of calls and discussion time (in addition to the initial meeting)
  • Completed text, delivered on time
  • Efficient management of project-related tasks, such as extra research, fact checking, arranging interviews, transcribing and sensitivity reading.
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    Let me know what type of editing you need and I’ll get to work: zee@twomarshmallows.net

    My past projects include novels, short stories, non-fiction books, children’s books, business texts, internal documents, marketing, job descriptions, web copy, and cover letters and resumes/CVs*.


    *About cover letters and resumes/CVs: I cannot write these for you as they must be in your own words, especially the cover letter. I will only check for errors and offer suggestions (a combination of line- and copy-editing). Ask A Manager is an excellent resource for writing resumes and cover letters. The site is US-focused but much of the advice is universal. If you know of similar sites for other countries, let me know and I’ll link them here.

     

    Q&A

    Q: What is the difference between line editing and copy-editing?

    A: Copy-editing is mostly about correcting language and punctuation errors. Line editing is about making the text stronger. This does include correcting errors, but it also includes structural changes such as rewriting lines, removing unnecessary words, deleting or adding sentences, and finding alternative words that more accurately convey what you want to say.

    These terms are sometimes used interchangeably because there is crossover between the two. But if you’re happy with the way your text sounds and you only want someone to check for language errors, you want copy-editing. If you want someone to check for errors and improve the flow and structure of the text, you want line editing.

     

    Q: My English-language skills aren’t as strong as other people’s. Will you be understanding and patient with me?

    A: Yes, absolutely. That’s my job. I can’t imagine being anything other than understanding and patient with someone who needs my help.
    You are also welcome to tell me your concerns so we can discuss them before starting work. I will always listen and take them seriously.

     

    Q: Are you critical in your feedback?

    A: If you mean do I criticise you as a person, no. I am always clear that my feedback is about the work, not about you. Being an editor is not a licence to be cruel.

    What you can expect is direct and straightforward feedback (as well as plenty positive feedback). I will tell you what works and what doesn’t. You will know exactly what requires attention and what to improve.

    For example, if a sentence isn’t clear, I will say, “This sentence isn’t clear.” I will then give you suggestions, e.g., “The reader needs to know if you mean X or Y. Here are a couple of ways you can clarify your meaning.”

    So yes, I will be direct and not waste your time with vague comments, but no, I will never criticise your skills or you as a person.

    I provide positive feedback as well. Lots and lots of it. That way, you’ll know what you’re doing right and are encouraged to continue writing. If you don’t want positive feedback, please let me know before work starts.

     

    Q: My writing is too weird. Will you look down on me for it?

    A: I’m from Australia. I live in the Netherlands. I’ve seen some things. Weird doesn’t bother me. I’m here to help you express yourself, not make you sound like everyone else.

     

    Q: Will you share any of my work with another person?

    A: No. If I need to ask another person for feedback on an issue, I will give them a summary of the relevant part of your text. But I won’t share any of your work without your express written permission.

     

    Q: What is sensitivity reading?

    A: Sensitivity reading is checking texts for language and stereotypes that harm marginalised groups. I will highlight any issues for you and provide alternatives. If my knowledge of a particular issue is limited, I’ll also recommend you check with someone who knows more.

    If you need help finding a sensitivity reader, let me know.

     

    Q: Why only three rounds of revision? What if we need more?

    A: Most projects only need three. The first and second rounds of revision are more intensive. The third is for minor changes and corrections only.

    There are occasions when a fourth round is needed. But again, it would only be for very minor issues. It most often takes place because of a last-minute change, e.g., the marketing department just told you to use ‘periwinkle blue’ instead of ‘light blue’, and now we need to quickly adjust the document.

    This is why I ask a lot of questions at the start of a project. We both must be very clear on what you do and don’t want in your text. That way, the third round is the final one.

    Any other questions? Feel free to ask: zee@twomarshmallows.net

     

    * Voor mijn Nederlandse bezoekers: Ik spreek zowel Engels als Nederlands, dus u kunt voor vragen over schrijven en copywriting in beide talen bij mij terecht.