With my copy-editing hat on, I take whatever you’ve written — be it notes or a reasonable draft — and pull it into shape. After I’ve had my way with your words, your reader will enjoy a smooth read with a clear voice.
- the language will be consistent
- each word will fit your voice
- each sentence will flow naturally from one to the next with a clear connection between them
- the overall piece will use relevant information and fit the brief
- say goodbye to silly miskates (ha ha)
- add, remove and tweak words, sentences and even paragraphs to make them work their hardest
See how better a piece of edited copy looks after I’ve had a go at it.
What editing looks like
This piece came in from a professional writer who was churning out content for a high-volume project.
Each month, I edited up to 500 of these items during this project; thankfully most of them were considerably better than this one.
**Some details I’ve changed to protect the innocent!**
This sort of thing happens when you have massive time pressures — luckily, in this case, all the HTML tags were correct (a rare treat).
So, I got to work.
My initial concerns were about the featured car park in the first paragraph of a piece that was supposed to be wooing readers into getting married in Luxembourg:
- dress? Check
- cake? Check
- flowers? Check
- car park? err … check
Car parking doesn’t rank highly on most brides’ must-have list, does it?! Nor, really, do free buffet breakfasts, miniatures in minibars or WiFi for in-room entertainment.
It needed more romance, more magic and a little bit of sparkle. But bear in mind, I had several hundred edits to do in a month, so I didn’t have hours for each piece.
The most I could spend was 35 – 40 minutes if I was going to hit my deadlines. That’s not long to read it through, realise it doesn’t hit the brief, find material to replace car parks and hairdryers and alter the voice to appeal to a loved-up audience, do the edit, proofread it and double check it.
I would love to redo the whole thing, but it’s just not practical when the clock is ticking.
Anyway, here’s the edited version.
It’s not easy to see the changes because in this high-volume project, I didn’t need to track my changes. So here is a version that compares the original and the final versions:
Some of the original has to stay, but there is now some promise of joy and nuptial frolicking in Luxembourg!