How close to perfection can you get? (Ask Dr. Wobs)

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Today’s question is about the pursuit of perfection — not only how to do it, but when it makes sense. Dear Dr. Wobs: On perfection: how close to 100% error-free can an editor aspire to? What tools can help a mere mortal get a little closer? Martha Pings Perfection is a dangerous goal Dear Martha: … Continued

13 proofreading hacks based on the psychology of reading

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Typos and mistakes seem inevitable. While you can delegate the proofreading job to someone else who’s an expert nitpicker, that’s not always practical when we’re all sending emails, blogging, and posting on social networks at real-time speed with little editing. But if you’re smart about how brains see (and don’t see) errors, you can catch more … Continued

Your guide to the five levels of editing (infographic)

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In my experience, a big challenge for writers is the inappropriate edit. You know, the guy who corrects spelling errors in your outline, or wants to rearrange the whole thing during the proofreading stage. In fact, only 32% of business writers say that their process for collecting and combining feedback works well. I’ve written before … Continued

Editing week, Level 4: How to love your copy editor

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Like all writers, I have a fraught relationship with copy editors. I give them my perfect prose and then it’s pick, pick, pick. But I can’t live without one. Today: how to value copyeditors and your own prose, all at the same time. I’ve taken you through the whole editing process this week: idea development, … Continued

To write well and efficiently, choose the right level of editing

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Editing is like going to the dentist — nobody likes it, but you’ll avoid a lot of pain and ugliness if you get the right help at the right time. And you need to pick the right intensity of editing to match what your writing needs; you can’t fix a toothache with just a cleaning. Good … Continued