Tag Archive | editing tips

Cutting Word Count Without Giving Your Whole Story the Ax!

If you’re looking to traditionally publish your novel, keeping the word count down to about 80 – 85K is important. It’s mostly a matter of publishing costs – bigger books cost more to produce.

I have a large book: A Burnished Rose – Book I  and book II (don’t remember the total work count but it’s over 400 pages) that I split online because it was too costly to print as one book.

A Burnished Rose: Book I (Rose Series 2)
A Burnished Rose: Book II (Rose Series 3)

that I split up for selling online because of the printing cost. When I sell it in person, I have a brick and mortar printer print Book I and II together because it is cost-effective for me, but not for online print sales.

Leslie Vedder gives us three helpful tips to cutting down your manuscript without losing the good bits. (Thanks to Jane Friedmann and Valarie Biel)

The Comprehensive Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Working with an Editor 

Chantel Hamilton is an editor and guest writer on Jane Hamilton’s blog. Her post is a comprehensive discussion about book editing that I would recommend reading if you have any questions about editing. The only thing I disagree with is she says that other writers can not help you with your writing. I think maybe what she meant was other writers shouldn’t be asked to edit your manuscript.

Other writers can definitely help you with your writing. That called a critique group and critique groups can be very beneficial. But in a critique group, your fellow writers aren’t editing, per se. They may catch punctuation and grammar items but they are looking at your piece for the more obvious things: “This sentence confused me.”  “Above you have him in the hallway, now he appears in the bathroom. How did he get there?”  “Who is saying this?” “You changed POV here.” And they help keep you writing and praise you when you do something they enjoy – which is always nice :).

Granted, these are all things an editor may tell you, but an editor will go through your piece in more detail than a fellow writer. Editors also have a view of your whole piece in their mind. When they are reading chapter 10, they may think “Didn’t the author say this in chapter 2?” They may have to go back and confirm that, but even copyediting is not looking at just what is in the page in front of them; it’s keeping the whole piece in their mind to some degree.

And a writer might be able to edit your book, but most would not want to, even if you paid them. It takes a lot of time and effort to do that and most writers want to spend that time and effort editing (revision) their own stuff. Editors may also be writers (as I am), but an editor wants to edit. It’s their job, and if they are good, they enjoy it. And as Chantel mentions, editors have had training in the “rules” and are very familiar with the standard style guides (Chicago Manual of Style – CMS – and the Associated Press style guide – AP – are the two most common, though there are others).

Note: Even though Chantel defines 4 different types of editing, make sure you understand your editor’s definition of the type of edit they think (or you think) you need. There is some variation out there for these definitions. As long as you both understand what is going to happen, then you should be good to go.

p.s. I think most editors will do a sample copyedit for you for free. It won’t be a long edit, but enough to allow you to compare different editor’s styles. I recommend it when trying to whittle down your editor prospects.


This post explains four critical types of book editing, why you need an editor, how to choose one, and what your editor can and cannot do.

Source: The Comprehensive Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Working with an Editor | Jane Friedman

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How to Use Paragraph Breaks to Guide the Reader’s Experience 

Always good information from Ms Weiland. Here is a recent post about how and why to use paragraph breaks. To help us all make reading an even more pleasant experience for the people we write for!



Writers must use paragraph breaks to direct a reader’s experience of the story’s action and pacing. Here are three guiding principles to keep in mind.

Source: Critique: How to Use Paragraph Breaks to Guide the Reader’s Experience – Helping Writers Become Authors

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Hints For Working With An Editor

eraser1Chelsey Clammer makes some good points about working with an editor. I especially like the “overcommunication” idea!

Works for me!


EDITING 101: 06 – He Said / She Said: Dialogue Tags… — Don Massenzio’s Blog

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog: Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others. Courtesy of Adirondack Editing He Said / She Said: Dialogue Tags “Can you pass the salt?” Richard asked. “Like hell,” Katherine muttered. “Did…

via EDITING 101: 06 – He Said / She Said: Dialogue Tags… — Don Massenzio’s Blog

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3 Reasons Authors Need Style Sheets 

Robin Rivera on writeonsisters discusses something that many authors are not even aware of – Style Sheets. Read her post and learn about something that can save you money and your editor time. In addition, it will make sure your story turns out the way you want it.

When I create a style sheet, I use excel. I have columns that list the various things I want the proofer or editor to know (depending on why I’m creating a style sheet): character names (in order of appearance), odd spellings and location names are a few of the typical things I note. I also note the style guide I am using to answer basic questions of comma usage and how to handle titles of things (books, movies, articles…). If I plan on going against a particular style guide rule, then I’ll note that as well, to save me a lot of time back what an editor might want to naturally correct. It is easy for me to cut and paste information from anything I am editing or writing into this document. And if I’m passing an edited manuscript onto a proofer, it saves a lot of time and headache for them and the author, as well.

They take a little time, but they are well worth it!

**Please read the Amazon notice in this post. It’s important information for every author publishing on kdp.Amazon!

3 Reasons Authors Need Style Sheets » WriteOnSisters.com

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Editing 101

Here is the Editing presentation I promised the lovely participants at the Wisconsin Writers Association (WWA) conference this weekend in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. I’ve got it here as a power point and a pdf, depending on the software you have available to you.

Thank you for your patience and understanding!bow


Please feel free to contact me with any other editing or publishing questions. I enjoy helping fellow writers!

Editing 101  (Power point)

Editing 101   (PDF)

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Christine Keleny

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality