As a writer for more than 30 years I have a great deal of experience with editors and proof-readers, albeit mostly from the other side of the desk, so to speak.
Recently, though, I trained to become a proof-reader myself, which has given me an even greater appreciation of the incredible level of minutiae they have to work at, together with a new-found love for a fine-tipped bic biro! Proof-reading, I have discovered, appeals to my love of small details.
A Range of Projects
I have applied these proofreading skills on a number of different projects and for a variety of different clients. The projects have ranged from web pages, brochures and sales material to magazine articles, medical documents, exam projects, short stories and poetry collections. The clients have been equally diverse including a language school, a motorcycle training school, a student and a pharmacist, a sales company, a global explorer and, not surprisingly (given that one of the projects was a poetry collection), a poet.
As well as proofreading I have also sat the other side of the desk when it comes to the editing process, not just of my own works of fiction but also for the above-mentioned poet and another fiction author. Editing is perhaps more challenging than proofreading as the scope of the task can be so much broader, but for that reason it is also usually more rewarding.
Editing encompasses many different forms. Take for instance line editing. This looks at the language the writer has used and aims to improve the readability and tone of what’s already there by examining in detail the structure of the lines and the individual words themselves. Then you have content and structural editing (also called story or developmental editing). Here you look at the actual structure of the story, the character arcs, the dialogue and the sequencing of the scenes themselves. Does it work? Does it drive the story forward? Does it flow?
Keep The Content Flowing
And nowadays, with more and more people self-publishing in various formats and on a multitude of platforms, the nature of both proofreading and editing seems to be ever evolving and merging. Consider the (quite amazing) fact that today there are in excess of 172 million active websites out there (according to a recent netcraft survey) and many of these are going to require the outside services of, you guessed it, proofreaders and editors, not to mention writers and bloggers to keep pumping the content out there. These are exciting times we live in, not just for editors and proofreaders but for all of us!
Need An Editor or Proofreader?
Whatever stage you are at with your content or platform, I am just a quick click or two away. Fill in the contact form on the Contact Page and let me see if there is something I can be doing for you!