Every writer, regardless of his or her acumen with the written word, needs a second set of eyes to review what they “think” they have written. The problem with editing a manuscript yourself is that no matter how many times you go over your draft, you often find yourself reading what you think you wrote versus what is actually on paper. The mind’s eye doesn’t actually see the mistakes in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It is too focused on content, not style.
I have been most fortunate to have a friend and colleague who has been willing to invest the time and effort it takes to thoroughly review someone else’s work. Such activity is no small undertaking. Not everyone possesses the attention to detail to discover errors while at the same time taking plot, character development, and overall context into consideration to highlight the editorial and narrative corrections that are needed. While substantive changes to a submitted manuscript are at the discretion of the writer, ignoring proper use of language… syntax, spelling, etc., can destroy even the best story.
My editor of choice is Jen Bucholtz –
In spite of my attempts, Jen’s thorough review caught numerous grammatical errors that otherwise would have remained in the text. Jen is a writer in her own right – “there is no goat,” May 25, 2013 [about her military tour of duty in Afghanistan] – and her experience publishing a manuscript significantly abetted my efforts to get this book professionally edited and published. Jen writes under the pen name Jennifer Dunham. – exerpt from “Thanks” in Palo Duro.
Jen Bucholtz and Christianne Morgan have formed a new company to continue helping writers with editing, formatting and transcription. Their website is up!
If you need communication services, I highly recommend Language Witch!