5 editor’s secrets to help you write like a pro
I do a lot of copyediting, both of books and advertising collateral. I’ll let you in on a secret that still surprises me, although I’ve seen it hundreds of times now. If you looked at the raw work of most professional writers, you’d be pretty underwhelmed. Professional writers get work because they hit their deadlines, they stay on message, and they don’t throw too many tantrums. Some pros have a great writing voice or a superb style, but as often as not, that gets in the way. When you know that the best word is “prescient,” it’s hard to swallow when an account manager tells you the client won’t know what it means. Professional writers rely on editors to fix their clunks. Editing, like writing, takes time to learn. 1. Have you ever heard a four-year-old run out of breath before she can finish her thought? Sentences are building blocks, not bungee cords; they’re not meant to be stretched to the limit. 2. A paragraph supports a single idea. 3. Nouns ending in -ing are fine. 4. 5.
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