Editing Kudos

Most of my editing work has been for fellow authors in exchange for their help with my work, so I don’t have written comments from them about how I’ve helped them.  Here is a comment from a recent client I’ve been working with:
Dorothy was quick to adapt to my quirky needs and patterns, and understand my long term goals and short term objectives. I like the fact that she is not a food writer, and offers a well-informed lay perspective on my field. The column goes out every week in much better shape than before she looked at it. My writing gets what it needs in the moment, and Dorothy also gently tries to get me to work on some habits that slow me down on a weekly and long-term basis, with the goal of streamlining my process and minimizing the amount upon which I rely on her. Teaching me how to fish, in other words, rather than just selling me fish.

Ari LeVaux, who  writes a nationally syndicated weekly food column, which appears in 70+ newspapers


Editing work samples

 When I read the newspaper or the program for an event, I often wish I had my red pen in hand and could help clarify what I’m reading or make sense from nonsense!  Here are some recent examples; I will keep adding to this over time, so if you like reading how people can mess up the English language, come back again to read more!

1) This sentence comes from the program for a play I saw.  It’s part of the short bio for Mary Shelley, who is the main character in the story:

The death of Mary’s mother left a profound impact on her life—as she grew up, she was frequently compared to her in beauty and personality.

I found the sentence awkward, and if Mary’s mom hadn’t died, the reader wouldn’t know which “she” and “her” referred to which woman!  Here’s what I think is much cleaner and clear:

Edited version: The death of her mother left a profound impact on Mary—as she grew up, people frequently compared her to her mother in beauty and personality.

2) Here’s a quote from an Associated Press story about Father’s Day:

Fathers in the United States tend to be better educated than men without children, and relatively few men have children over age 40.

First of all, these two statements are not related and don’t belong in the same sentence together.  But worse than that, the second statement reads very differently than intended–LOTS of men have children over age 40–my husband has two sons in their 50s!  What the writer meant to convey is that: Few men older than 40 father newborns.

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