Barbara Ardinger is an editor I’ve used and trust. When I edit, she’s my go to person for questions because of her background and her extensive knowledge. I asked her to share some of her knowledge in a post. Here is one snippet of what she does.
Trying to finish your book or magazine article?
And you’re tired of staring at that blank screen?
Let Me Be Your Editor
When you ask me to be your editor, how can I help you? I’ve been working with smart people like you since the turn of the century. These are smart people who often have good ideas, but they are not (alas) very good writers. I’ve helped nearly all of them succeed.
I’ve edited more than 300 manuscripts. Most of these were for authors going to literary agents or to small, vanity, or on-demand presses. Nonfiction projects include memoirs and biographies, mind/body/spirit (mostly mainstream metaphysics and a lot of New Age), holistic health, science and technology, political tracts, business topics, Calvinist and Islamic theology and history, and ghost hunting. This is one reason I love my job! I learn something new with everything I edit. Fiction includes romance, action-adventure, science fiction, western, mystery, historical, speculative, noir, and horror novels. Other projects I’ve edited include screenplays (film and TV), children’s books, academic discourse (textbooks, doctoral and master’s theses in the U.S. and the UK), website text, and poetry. (Because poetry is so personal, I edit it very carefully.) I have also taught university classes in writing and public speaking and worked as a technical writer/editor in five different industries. And I earned my Ph.D. in English with straight A’s, which means I know what I’m talking about.
I can help you, too! As your editor, I’ll look at what you wrote with fresh eyes. I can improve your spelling, grammar, punctuation, English usage, sentence structure, and word choice. I know what “gooder English” is. I know how to punctuate dialogue. I know how to help you not write Tom Swifties or make other common errors like purple prose and just plain wrong words—like “a house built of troglodyte” (look it up)—that often lead to unintended humor and may inspire your reader to throw your book across the room. I know how to call out unsupported generalizations and lame exaggeration. I know about history and can correct cultural misconceptions. I also do a lot of fact-checking as I edit. What does this kind of work on my part add up to? You’re less likely to embarrass yourself in print. Together, we can also brainstorm for ideas and structure and then outline your chapters. I’ll help you prewrite, write, and rewrite. And I’ll hold your hand till the very end.
Why “fresh eyes” can help you. Because my fresh eyes have not seen the same sentences umpteen times, they read what is really there, not what is remembered or expected of what you thought you wrote. Fresh eyes catch simple, stupid mistakes that weary eyes swan right over. Fresh eyes see leaps of logic where weary eyes have blinked.
Yes, I’ll be your fresh eyes. That means I’ll see the details you miss simply because you wrote the sentences and paragraphs and think you already know what they say. In other words, I’m likely to catch things you and your spouse and your friends and your critique group missed and correct those often dumb mistakes for you. Especially if what you wrote is not quite what you intended. As I am forever telling my authors—most of whom become my friends—it’s important to remember that our readers don’t live in our heads with us. We have to show them stuff. We need to remember that clarity is everything.
That’s my goal: to help every author I work with write more clearly and more meaningfully.
Send me an email now or call me, and we’ll talk about your ideas and ways I can help you manifest your good ideas on paper……….or at least on your screen. Cheers!
Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D.
And you can find some of my books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&index=blended&keywords=barbara%20ardinger