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Copy-Editing Story

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Copy editing - a fictionalised story of how WritersServices worked for Tony.

Tony was proud of being a self-made man, having left school at fifteen and worked long and hard to set up an international haulage business. Now semi-retired, he was living in Spain but still running a small removals business operating to and from Spain and other parts of Europe, providing a service for people moving from one country to another.

He was known all along the Costa del Sol and through word-of-mouth had built a solid reputation for helping expatriates moving to the sun, and back home again. Besides his business, his three grown children and four grandchildren, his passion was the English Civil War and particularly the military tactics of the opposing sides.

Tony had worked for years researching his favourite subject and had written an account comparing the New Model Army’s organisation and fighting methods with those of the Royalist army. He’d uncovered some interesting, relatively little-known papers, and his manuscript put forward a new theory about the course of the war.

The trouble was that the manuscript, although it was full of interesting material, was in a terrible mess. Tony had never been good at English at school and over the years he had relied on a succession of loyal secretaries to doctor his prose and turn his dictation into proper business letters. He didn’t like to admit it, but he knew he needed professional help to get his untidy manuscript into a fit state for submitting to a publisher, or even for publishing it himself.

Tony’s work was quite well-organised and forcefully argued. It was actually writing it all down which had proved the problem. He was an awful speller and couldn’t remember any of the rules of punctuation.

Some of his sentences were just a jumble, obscuring what he was trying to say. No publisher would be prepared to disinter the content of his work when it was presented in the form of a manuscript which made the author look illiterate, and which, at best, would need a major editorial effort to knock into shape.

WritersServices’ Copy editing service could provide line-by-line work on the manuscript by a qualified, professional copy editor. This laborious exercise would transform every sentence into good English, correcting spelling, grammar, sentence construction and punctuation to clarify the author’s meaning. The result would be a mass of corrections which, agreed by Tony, could be incorporated to produce a tidy and professional-looking manuscript, ready for him to submit to a publisher, or to send off to the printer if he opted for Self-publishing.

Copy editing

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