lessons learned from working with an editor

Afterlife

First of all, here is the post

I have now written my second ever guest post. In exchange for a piece about the afterlife on cafephilos, I got the opportunity to have someone else edit my work. I think this is important for my development as a writer and look forward to working with many more editors. To those that have already reached out, don’t worry, I have a list and content will be coming your way soon.

I would like to reflect on what I have learnt from having someone edit one of my posts and share what I have learnt.

Keep paragraphs short, as people tend to glaze over when reading a wall of text, especially as there is so much content to choose from.

here is an example of what I had.

Especially when I was younger, I thought the idea of an afterlife was a great idea. I guess because it was sold to me on the proviso that you get what you want in heaven. As someone, who at the time thought of school as a chore, It seemed like being able to do what I wanted was a small price to pay for all the hoops that would need to be jumped through. As usual, with age comes wisdom, and that wisdom has given me doubts about how good eternal bliss would be, and ask a few questions as to the practicalities of such a location.’

After editing.

When I was younger, I thought an afterlife was a great idea. I was told that you get what you want in heaven. I guess that’s what sold me on it. It seemed like being able to do whatever I wanted to do was a small price to pay for all the hoops that I would need to jump through.

But as usual, with age came wisdom, and wisdom has given me doubts about how good eternal bliss would be. I nowadays ask a few questions about the practicalities of such a location.’

Be concise.

With the aid of a human editor, the wheat was separated from the chaff. My sentences were overly wordy. Why say something you can say in two words in ten words. I had already read this, but seeing it in the flesh really hit the idea home. Why must I always learn the hard way?

In a few weeks, I may post the original, so you can see for yourselves the difference between my work and mine and Paul’s work.

Final thoughts, and advice to people who want to write guest posts.

Depending on whom you’re writing for, the more freedom you will get to write in your own voice. When writing for cafephilos, my copy kept the essence of its original character, which is a delight. However, when working with the British Nutrition Foundation, there was a lot more editing as they had a very strict style that they wanted to present. Eventually, it became to have to keep editing and I became sick of the article, I let them do what they want with it.

So, the take-home message is to know who you’re writing for, this may save you some time. When deciding to do a guest post, take the writing style of the publication into consideration and decide if you can be bothered to conform!

I will leave you with one last thing, do you think this line was cut after the edit?

 

Of course not, that is why Christmas was outlawed in the year 2020 when it was considered too degrading of moral fibre. Okay, enough with the pretentious meta-textual self-aware shit.’

find out here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: ljphd

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

12 thoughts on “lessons learned from working with an editor”

  1. This is good advice for most writing. I use excess words writing my drafts and chop ruthlessly in my edits. I often cut/rewrite/tighten my writing by 1/3. Seeing blocks of text is my reason to click off a page and move one.

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  2. Oh gosh. I do love a good word cull! Absolutely true that tighter sentences are the way to go. The less wordy, the better. Good on you for being open minded and taking on the edits with such enthusiasm. I truly believe that a writer becomes a far better writer when they leave their ego at the door. Nice post! 🙂

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  3. I just wanted to tell folks, working with Jake to produce a guest post for my blog, Cafe Philos, was a pleasure. Jake has immense talent for writing and only needs practice and guidance to hone his talent into skills. Beyond that, it sure helped both that he’s highly intelligent and that he is willing to take advice and run with it.

    As I like to say, it takes greater wisdom to make use of advice than it takes to give it.

    Thank you much, Jake.

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  4. Editors are good. To edit myself I use Grammarly free and Pro-Writer ($50 a year now). I don’t use all of Pro-Writer as it would take too long, just the Writing Style check. It hates adverbs more than I do. When I put old stories through these checks and see the howlers I am amazed they ever got published.

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