Writing and Editing, Fixing Words

An editor is a fixer — of broken spelling and grammar, of busted logic and organization, of faulty workflows and processes, of stressed writing and editorial teams, of misaligned vision and execution. From narrow to broad, these are the key writing and editing skills I bring to every project.

  • I’ve been a copy editor and proofreader fixing problems with spelling, grammar, or style. Fact checking can happen here, too, depending on the workflow. This is what many people think of when they think of an editor’s job.
  • I’ve been a line editor who fixes problems with voice, language, structure, sourcing, and organization. Edits at this level can be substantial — entire paragraphs cut or recast — but a line editor does not usually focus on the details of the copyedit.
  • I’ve been a developmental editor fixing problems with the conception of the project, its organization, its evolution, sometimes before anything has been written. A developmental editor is a reader, a coach, and a colleague a writer can rely on while a project is underway.
  • As a production editor I’ve taken on many tasks: proofreading and copy editing, monitoring production schedules, communicating with authors and designers, approving manuscripts for the printer or the website. Many of these tasks come late in the process, but a good editor will have an eye toward what’s coming next. A production editor is the ink-stained wretch who keeps the operation running, no matter what.
  • As a managing editor I’ve been involved at every step of the process making sure the operation runs smoothly. Are manuscripts progressing to completion? Are writers and editors staying busy and developing their talents? Is editorial direction and philosophy being followed? Are budgets adhered to? Is the audience paying attention? Are we making money?

After twenty years of writing and editing, I’ve fixed a lot of problems with written content. Tell me about your problem, and let’s figure out how to fix it.

(And if you need something written — I do that, too.)