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Writing, Proofing, Editing, Beta/Develop Editing


gina_riley2
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A questions for you editors and proofers.

(1) Would you feel comfortable doing Beta reading for a client?

* Because there really aren't that many Beta readers, I have contacted some that offer editing to see if they're interested in doing some feedback. Surprisingly, the few I contacted said yes. One even gave me some really good feedback.

(2) How do you feel about using adverbs? Any preferences on adverbs in Article vs Fiction writing?

(3) Over use of the word "and" (any conjunction) in sentences. I have always used it once per sentence because it sounds awkward.

(4) Do you prefer to do line editing, or side editing?

(5) Any other nuances that you'd like to express?

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1) If it were on the shorter side, sure!

2) I feel great about using adverbs but, as a reader, would probably want to see less of them in an article than in fiction writing. I wouldn't edit them out if they were used properly and the writing flow wasn't hampered by them, though.

3) That's how I was taught to write, and what my style guide says to do.

4) I don't even know what "side editing" is.

5) I love em dashes, semicolons, and ellipses.

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@sharifrif48  What exactly in my post is confusing you? I'm really offended by your emoji. I asked a sensible question. Everyone else ask, "How I get 1st order?" With the same dribble of staying online maximum time.

😠 💔 😠

Honestly, this is nonsense. We can't have a coherent conversation without whole bunch of spammers giving sad emoji.

You are chasing away all posters with something tangible to say. This forum will be full of repetitive I got my 67th order.

I AM OFFENDED!!

Edited by gina_riley2
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13 minutes ago, mandyzines said:

don't even know what "side editing" is.

Instead of within the sentence, the editing markup is on the right hand margin.

13 minutes ago, mandyzines said:

em dashes, semicolons, and ellipses.

Hee, hee. I use this often in my fiction books. Drives my editor nuts!! 😆😁

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4 hours ago, gina_riley2 said:

(1) Would you feel comfortable doing Beta reading for a client?

Why not? As a matter of fact, I'm doing it as a volunteer for a site and coming across a good measure of interesting stuff. People usually feel more relaxed while having a conversation with me as a beta reader instead of me being their editor :) 

4 hours ago, gina_riley2 said:

(2) How do you feel about using adverbs? Any preferences on adverbs in Article vs Fiction writing

I'm talking about Italian editing as it's my field. Adverbs are great... When we don't use them! Should be careful with those guys, I don't stand them as a reader so I keep this approach while working on fiction. 

4 hours ago, gina_riley2 said:

(3) Over use of the word "and" (any conjunction) in sentences. I have always used it once per sentence because it sounds awkward

I try to avoid conjunctions, replacing them with punctuation when it's possible.  

4 hours ago, gina_riley2 said:

(4) Do you prefer to do line editing, or side editing?

Line editing is great! I found it more intuitive. Tried both approaches and my clients were also happy with it

Edited by alphagev
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5 hours ago, gina_riley2 said:

(1) Would you feel comfortable doing Beta reading for a client?

I have a gig for beta reading of children's books. I would not want to beta read longer works.

5 hours ago, gina_riley2 said:

(2) How do you feel about using adverbs? Any preferences on adverbs in Article vs Fiction writing?

I like to see not only adjectives, adverbs in book writing but also literary techniques such as alliteration, similes/metaphors, personifications, and where appropriate an onomatopoeia or two. All of these work together to paint pictures for the reader. I also think there is a place for some of these techniques in articles too. 

5 hours ago, gina_riley2 said:

Over use of the word "and" (any conjunction) in sentences. I have always used it once per sentence because it sounds awkward.

Agreed.

5 hours ago, gina_riley2 said:

(4) Do you prefer to do line editing, or side editing?

I prefer line editing with comments on the side as needed.

 

5 hours ago, gina_riley2 said:

(5) Any other nuances that you'd like to express?

People overpopulate their writing with parentheses, therefore I prefer to use em dashes where needed. Ellipses are effective if use appropriately, but many do not know how to do that.

I wish more authors knew how to punctuate dialogue and tag lines in a more interesting way.  

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1) I beta read just about anything. It's my best selling gig. 

2) I like to see a variety of narrative layering like @vickiespencer mentioned. 
3) Once. Otherwise it'd just be an awkward sentence. 
4) Line editing. Only side editing where necessary.
5) I love emdashes, love semi colons yet hate seeing it in dialogue (just a pet peeve) and love ellipses when used well. Wish authors would learn how to work tags around good dialogue more often, and how to work the action/scene around the dialogue and to correctly write tags.

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(1) Generally yes, but also depends on the client.

(2) They are part of a language and tools. Like "ands", they have their place. I'm no fan of demonizing entire innocent groups of words, it's their more or less skilled use that makes the difference. Likewise, while "they have their place in fiction rather than in articles" may seem a common notion, an adverb used by a skilled article writer will hurt less than one used by a not so skilled fiction writer.

(3) If done on purpose, for effect, use any "ands" you want. Else, I prefer to cut up sentences where it works just as well, for better readability, and usually more effect.

An interesting phenomenon I see almost disturbingly often, is a nonsensical use of "and" in English texts. Many people use "ands" where they make no logical sense. At all. As if they bought them on discount, can't fit them all in their fridge, and don't want to let them go to waste.  May sound funny, but you can't imagine how often I sit there like "why ... and?" and tear apart what doesn't belong together.

(4) For things beyond simple issues that don't need any discussing, side editing. My remarks can be really long.

(5) If hiring someone for such a job, be kind but very honest with what your expectations are. First with yourself, then with your beta reader in conveying them, before the job. And be open-minded if you get (also) unexpected feedback. Have expectations, you're paying for a job to be done, after all, but try to not have expectations. 🙂

Likewise, if taking such a job, be kind but very honest.

______

Oh, don't be offended by those confused smilies, take them as a badge of honour for posting seemingly more complex content than the usual fare.

Edited by miiila
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7 hours ago, miiila said:

As if they bought them on discount, can't fit them all in their fridge, and don't want to let them go to waste.

It seems as if commas are bought at wholesale prices, that started happening about a decade ago and never went away, it drives me insane, , , , , ,

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On 11/18/2021 at 6:35 PM, mandyzines said:

That's interesting. What's their reasoning behind that?

Well, she wants me to be more descriptive but in a visual way. When I 1st started writing, the editors would want me to write a story so the reader can visualize it.

"Stop telling readers what's going on, let them figure it out. Don't describe things (it's boring and no one wants to read it), make it visually appealing."

I used to get so frustrated with all of them. After paying attention to the likes of Grisham, Patterson and such. I finally got it. It's hard as heck to do.

On 11/18/2021 at 8:04 PM, alphagev said:

When we don't use them!

That's what my editor says. I get slapped down with lazy writing like, "He ran really fast." 😆

On 11/18/2021 at 8:51 PM, vickiespencer said:

I have a gig for beta reading of children's books.

Do you ask your grandkids for feedback? 😆😆

On 11/18/2021 at 8:51 PM, vickiespencer said:

overpopulate their writing with parentheses,

I agree. It should be used in moderation, but only on non-fiction writing. I don't think this would work with fiction. I don't think I've ever used it in any of my books.

On 11/19/2021 at 4:07 AM, maddy216 said:

love ellipses

I found out there are differences between dashes and ellipses in convo. I still can't remember how or when to use it.

I think my editor told me that dashes are for when a character is interrupted mid-sentence?

On 11/19/2021 at 4:59 AM, miiila said:

open-minded if you get (also) unexpected feedbac

I expect and want feedbacks. I feel like either the reader don't understand what a beta reader is or they don't care, if I don't get back few criticisms! 😁

 

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1 hour ago, gina_riley2 said:

Do you ask your grandkids for feedback? 😆😆

Nope, but there is a seller on Fiverr that has a gig where her young daughters will give their feedback on a book.

1 hour ago, gina_riley2 said:

I agree. It should be used in moderation, but only on non-fiction writing. I don't think this would work with fiction. I don't think I've ever used it in any of my books.

Yes, in non-fiction. However, several children's book authors have tried to use them in stories I have beta read.
 

 

1 hour ago, gina_riley2 said:

I still can't remember how or when to use it.

They are useful for a longer pause.

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On 11/18/2021 at 3:00 PM, gina_riley2 said:

Honestly, this is nonsense. We can't have a coherent conversation without whole bunch of spammers giving sad emoji.

I suspect it actually means something along the lines of, "Reading is not my thing, and I don't English too good either, so I show my confusion with goofy emoji to "rank gig."  

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2 hours ago, gina_riley2 said:

Well, she wants me to be more descriptive but in a visual way. When I 1st started writing, the editors would want me to write a story so the reader can visualize it.

"Stop telling readers what's going on, let them figure it out. Don't describe things (it's boring and no one wants to read it), make it visually appealing."

I used to get so frustrated with all of them. After paying attention to the likes of Grisham, Patterson and such. I finally got it. It's hard as heck to do.

There's so much beauty to the way that em dashes can provide emphasis--especially as a thrust of sorts-- but they're very versatile:  https://www.thepunctuationguide.com/em-dash.html . I see them as absolutely being visual. (I'm used to writing in Microsoft Word, which automatically turns "--" into the proper "—" after the space key is pressed.)

Ellipses can also be used in informal writing as a visual way of 'drifting into' or 'drifting off'.... I hope that makes sense! I really wish that I saw more of these delicious little bits used in writing, because they do make it more visual.

Semicolons...have a very descriptive and formal feel to them, though.

 

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On 11/22/2021 at 11:59 AM, mandyzines said:

There's so much beauty to the way that em dashes can provide emphasis--especially as a thrust of sorts-- but they're very versatile:  https://www.thepunctuationguide.com/em-dash.html . I see them as absolutely being visual. (I'm used to writing in Microsoft Word, which automatically turns "--" into the proper "—" after the space key is pressed.)

Ellipses can also be used in informal writing as a visual way of 'drifting into' or 'drifting off'.... I hope that makes sense! I really wish that I saw more of these delicious little bits used in writing, because they do make it more visual.

Semicolons...have a very descriptive and formal feel to them, though.

 

Yes, wholeheartedly agree! I love doing this in short prose, it's so fun when used to create a visual storyline, of sorts. The joy of writing is just about anything goes, it just has to be consistent. Wish I got to read more creative narratives like that. 

On 11/22/2021 at 9:19 AM, gina_riley2 said:

 

I think my editor told me that dashes are for when a character is interrupted mid-sentence?

 

Yes, that's one of the ways you can use em dashes! Definitely check out that resource link too. You can also use ellipses to show a character trailing off in mid conversation, or if a character is monologuing and you want a clean way to insert someone else interrupting them that doesn't include em dashes, you can use ellipses to show the first character is basically rolling over their input. 
Character one: "Words words words words words words ..."
Character two: "Words words words."
Character one:  "... words words words words." 

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On 11/22/2021 at 8:59 PM, mandyzines said:

Semicolons...have a very descriptive and formal feel to them, though.

Although some people are too afraid of using them. I often see a wholesale comma 😉 where only a semicolon would be correct.

Or the courage to rip the sentence apart 😉

Or the courage to rip the sentence apart. 🙂 

Or the courage to rip the sentence apart 🙂.

And then, there is the punctuation dilemma brought about by the internet and illustrated above  how the orthographic hell do you treat those lovely smileys you use to make this virtual world a friendlier place?! Countless people suffer through this decision every day! 

Questions, questions ... 

 

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I realize this is directed more to proofreaders, but I hope you don't mind me offering up my two cents.

On 11/18/2021 at 3:05 PM, gina_riley2 said:

(1) Would you feel comfortable doing Beta reading for a client?

I see myself more as a critique partner than a beta reader, but I can usually force-remind myself to not add to the word-count.

On 11/18/2021 at 3:05 PM, gina_riley2 said:

(2) How do you feel about using adverbs? Any preferences on adverbs in Article vs Fiction writing?

I'll just borrow a quote.

image.thumb.png.b93ef1feddd34bf3996f57a253c66e23.png

... I have two copies of this book. I don't know how I came to have two, but I do, and they both are littered with bookmarks of the 'whatever-happened-to-be-on-hand mess of receipts and junk mail return envelopes' variety, most of which do not mark the same spots.

As for fiction vs non-fiction vs blurbs, blogs, and articles: whatever best fits the tone, whatever best communicates the point.

On 11/18/2021 at 3:05 PM, gina_riley2 said:

(3) Over use of the word "and" (any conjunction) in sentences. I have always used it once per sentence because it sounds awkward.

Dialogue is the only place I see sometimes okay to use a lot of 'ands', because people, by the very nature of communication, ramble. As such, like every tool that Mr. King mentions in that section of the book, it has it's uses. To borrow a different quote: "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Recognizing my tendencies is an ongoing battle. Knowing how to work with other's preferences and quirks is a part of being a skilled beta/editor. To each their own.

image.png.4892940843394f8181960d31cb49b618.png

On 11/18/2021 at 3:05 PM, gina_riley2 said:

(4) Do you prefer to do line editing, or side editing?

Both? I work with what I'm given (and what I'm paid to do). If I can only make comments in a PDF, alright. If I'm given full editing permissions in a GoogleDoc, I'll switch myself to suggestion mode, because, as flattered as I am that I'm supposedly trusted enough with that kind of power, I WILL ALWAYS leave a 'paper trail'. 

On 11/18/2021 at 3:05 PM, gina_riley2 said:

(5) Any other nuances that you'd like to express?

I'll admit, I'm rather fond of using italics. Personal vice. 

As for ellipsis, I might have a bit of a weakness for those too. I grew up reading a fair amount of manga (and playing JRPGs), and picked up a slightly different/non-standard-English view of their use.

Quote

In text in Japanese media, such as in manga or video games, ellipses are much more frequent than in English, and are often changed to another punctuation sign in translation. The ellipsis by itself represents speechlessness, or a "pregnant pause". Depending on the context, this could be anything from an admission of guilt to an expression of being dumbfounded at another person's words or actions.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellipsis#In_Japanese

What else...

Oh! I've been told I'm too critical and nit-picky sometimes. Especially if I get the chance to work with the author, and not just return a marked-up sheet. 

Authors in review: breeze through a whole page of writing in an hour.
Also authors in review: agonize over one word for an hour.

Edited by imagination7413
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