My first real foray into writing happened, when, in my mid forties, in the midst of a nurse training course, I decided to realise a childhood dream and write that book I had been dreaming about writing all my life. I published my debut novel in 2012, and then 4 years later I was to finally publish the sequel. It had been a rocky road, and my experiences with editors had not been the best. Gradually, I began to learn some excellent writing techniques and worked hard at my craft to improve my own writing skills with the aid of some excellent writers, author friends whom I admire, and from some well-established editing blogsites. I soon began helping others with their writing projects which helped me hone my own editing skills and having experienced the downside of editing, I wanted to offer a service that genuinely cares about the work that others create, knowing that they, like me, are on their journey to create that masterpiece they have been longing to write since the day their stories popped into their heads.
Here at Invisible Ink, I aim to offer an inter-personal service, leaving the client under no illusion that their manuscript is in good hands. I know how it feels to spend every spare hour, living, and breathing every move my characters make. I know how it feels to spend years sweating over research books to get the accuracy just right. I know how it feels when you have to kill that character and let that villain get away with murder.
Why employ an editor? After all my Auntie May has read it and she couldn’t find much wrong with it?
Its easy enough to write a book, but often when we authors are writing, we know in our brains what we are trying to convey, but that doesn’t always transpose to paper in the way we want it to. We don’t always see that we have left out a word, or misplaced a comma, or that our spelling has gone awry, or that our sentences are overwritten. We don’t always spot those very important point of view slips, or forgotten speech tags in dialogue. Its all because our brains trick us into believing that what we have written is correct and so we don’t always see what’s not there, or that what is there is not right. Auntie May might be a great reader and can spot a stray comma a mile away, but she hasn’t learned writing techniques. Does she know about ‘show, not tell’? Does she know about ‘head-hopping’? Does she know how to keep the point of view in the third person? Is she able to look at your manuscript with the discerning eye of a copy editor?
So what is it that a copy editor does? And what is proofreading?
A copy-editor studies a manuscript to correct typos, punctuation, and general grammar problems. He/she will also suggest alternatives for badly constructed sentences, and will ensure that the use of language is congruent with the setting, time and place of the narrative. An Invisible Ink copy-edit ensures that your manuscript is clearly presented to the reader or publisher.
When copy-editing fiction, the author’s style, syntax, writer’s voice, and world-building must be taken into account.The art of copy-editing involves being able to make any alterations needed whilst maintaining the writer’s style and voice. An Invisible Ink copy-edit will ensure that any changes made to your manuscript will be seamless and in harmony with your own voice.
Consistency, both within the written style and within the world created by the author, is also another important aspect of the copy-edit. It is important that character attributes, dialogue, pace, and flow, are all in tune with the rest of your book. Overwriting, or clunky sentence construction, repetition, and the consistency of timelines are all important aspects of the copy-edit, plus, the importance of techniques such as ‘showing’, rather than ‘telling’ to eradicate long swathes of boring information dumping.
Is usually done at the point where a manuscript has been copy-edited and corrected and the ‘proof’ is the final result. It will then need a proofread, to ensure that it is polished to a state whereby it can be presented to the public or publisher.