Welcome To EditRight 4u

EditRight 4uWhether you have a completed manuscript, technical paper, or you are just struggling to perfect your blog. EditRight 4u can help. We can help transform YOUR words into perfection and achieve your publishing deadlines. When writing anything professionally you cannot afford to have any imperfect sentences or mistakes. It is the job of the editor to make sure that your work gets noticed for all the right reasons. That is why we are here. Our professional services allow you to relax and know that you are good hands. Please take a few minutes and browse the website. If you have any questions please use the contact page and we will respond within 24 hours.

Ronald Hood (Owner and Lead Editor)

EditRight 4u Current Project Status – Feb 18, 2020

Project Completion % Date Start Deadline Status
Preston Proj. 1/1/20 3/15/20 IP
Pryer Proj. 2/18/20 Waiting Approval
Open

 

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Do I really need to have my book edited?

Over the past few weeks I have been getting a lot of requests to review books to see if they are in need of being edited. I have no issue with doing this, but I want to point out that any writing you do should be edited. Then review your edit, check it again, read it out loud and then edit it again. I know that seems like a lot, but the truth is writers and editors will never find everything that is wrong in the first pass review.

On a side note you should always have any work you plan to publish looked at by a professional. Having friends or family helping you is fine. However, mistakes in grammar, point of view, timing and time-lines are all something that an editor is trained to catch. You want people to buy your book, but the hard truth is they will not spend a dime on something that lacks attention to detail.

-Ron

 

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The Proper Use of “Lay” and Lie”

I received an email from a reader asking me to clarify the usage of “Lay” versus “Lie”.  For some reason people have trouble with these two pesky words. In truth it is simple to keep them straight if you remember one rule.  We will get to that later.
The main difference between the two words is that lay is a transitive verb, while lie is an intransitive verb. Now, I know that those may seem to be big words, but let’s break them down just a bit. A transitive verb is one that takes action on an object (Example: Please lay the book on the table). However, an intransitive verb is the complete opposite and therefore does not take a direct action on an object (Example: Why don’t you lie down?).
The only reason these verbs present a problem for anyone is that the past tense of the verb “lie” is identical in appearance to the present tense of the verb “lay.”  Now it is time for some English 101.  Every verb has three parts:  Infinitive, Past Tense and Past Participle.  Let’s take a look at a table that shows how our two combatants shake out:

Verb Infinitive Past Tense Past Participle
Lie Lie Lay Lain
Lay Lay Laid Laid

Now, I will admit that it is easy to get confused after looking at the table.  So, let’s get to that simple rule I promised to help solve your dilemma.  So here’s the how to do it:

1. Today you need to lie down.  Yesterday you lay down.  In the past you have lain down.
2. Today, you lay the book on the table. Yesterday, you laid the book on the table. In the past, you have laid the book on the table.

I hope this helps you figure out these two words.  I don’t know why people are so picky about them.  I can’t count how many times I have been corrected on their usage.  Does it really matter if I lie on the floor or lay on it?  Do you know what I mean?

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Why We Tell Stories

Throughout history and across the globe every known society has produced stories. Whether it is told around a campfire in a primeval jungle or in a bus bound for Cleveland, we have told tales to keep our culture strong. In contemporary society the resources dedicated to storytelling is astronomical. Think of how much time, money and effort is spent on movies alone. Tales are truly central to our lives. In the book The Seven Basic Plots, Christopher Booker outlines seven basic plots of a story. Booker suggests that all successful stories utilize at least one of these basic plots.

Overcoming The Monster – One great example of this is Jaws, the famous Steven Spielberg film of the 1970s. Spielberg’s enduring shark-tale tour de force addresses many of the key factors that make monsters, well, monsters. Numerous other examples of this basic plot type are found in myths, folklore, fairy tales, religion and film. Again and again, in different forms man is forced to face his demons and overcome the odds to kill beast.

The Rags to Riches Tale – This one really needs no explanation. However, if you think about it this is very similar to the overcoming the monster. The lack of money is the beast and it is killed when the main character makes good. This simple plot is used through all known history and in the most diverse of cultures. After all who did not cheer for Cinderella when she finally got her prince charming?

The Quest – This is my personal favorite. The best example I can come up is J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The idea of man searching for answers and doing what it takes makes for great storytelling. We see this being used for thousands of years to create stories that are as fascinating to us as they were to our ancestors.

Voyage and Return – While almost Identical to the quest it differs in one very important way. The quest takes you from point A to point B and resolves itself. In this plot type the main character makes a journey only to find out that he must return to beginning and face whatever it was he was running from. Homer’s Odyssey is a prime example of this and gives credence to the ageless ability of tales to be told, retold and kept for generations. The poem mainly centers on the Greek hero Odysseus (or Ulysses, as he was known in Roman myths) and his long journey home following the fall of Troy.

Comedy – Stories of this type are highlighted by misunderstandings, mistaken identities, and disguises. Only in the end are the true identities of the characters and their intentions revealed. I have never been a big fan of the comedy. I will admit though in literature it does have its place. Finding examples of this is not hard to do at all. I guess if I had to pick a favorite I would have to go with a movie that I watched quite recently. Mel Brook’s smash hit, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, fits the bill. Very funny stuff and it follows the characteristics of this plot type to a T.

Tragedy – Who doesn’t love a good tear jerker once in awhile? Shakespeare’s Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet are two of the best examples of this. We see this plot type being used again and again in so many different ways. I think we like to hear about the trials and troubles of others so we can say, “Well at least I didn’t get poisoned or run trough with a saber”.

Rebirth – Again this is one of my favorites. This plot type is best illustrated in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. An evil man gets a second chance in life and makes the most of it. Stories of hope, change and rebirth are a cornerstone in all great tales.

What these fundamental plot types share in common is that it’s all about human development and what is involved in becoming a mature person. Needing to tell a story is not a sign of creativity, but a measure of how we have become estranged from our own basic nature and what we need to do to go back. The purpose of stories is to tell us how to grow up and this is what these seven simple plots do.

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Editing Response: A Client’s Email

I received this email a few days ago from a client and was quite blessed by it. I asked for permission to reprint it here and to use it as a testimonial. I have to say I have not worked on this type of project before and it was a real learning experience. I want to send my thanks to Suzette for picking me to edit her card game and support material. I look forward to see it published and made available. I do believe that it will help many troubled relationships.

Thursday, September 13, 2012 10:36 AM

Ron,

Thanks so much for editing my books. I really appreciate your honesty, knowledge, and encouragement. I need that in order to make this collection the best it can be without spending thousands of dollars. I love your ability to teach, your flexibility, and that these books are not your typical subject. I think if someone who only read self-help were editing, they couldn’t give me the best input due to their familiarity. Writing can be such a grueling process that I wanted to give up, but after hiring you it was like an angel strengthened me. Finally, I feel the confidence I needed to be proud of my work.

Thank you,
Suzette, author of the Rock Talk Collection

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Writers: Eliminating Wordiness

I recently did a blog post on being wordy and word choices. I found this great article buried over at the Ball State University JD Writing Center. Although very simple, I think that ties into my orginal post and completes the thought. I was unable to determine the author of the work, but I thought it worth a re-post here. Whoever wrote thing did us a great service. Thank you!

-Ron

ELIMINATING WORDINESS
By Author Unknown

Do not repeat a word unless you need it again for clarity or emphasis.

WORDY: When I was a child, my favorite relatives were the relatives who treated me like a grown-up.
REVISED: When I was a child, my favorite relatives treated me like a grown-up.

Avoid redundancy. Don’t say the same thing twice using different words or phrases.

WORDY: The hero begins to behave strangely and in odd ways following his tryst with a witch he meets secretly at midnight.
REVISED: The hero begins to behave strangely following his midnight tryst with a witch.

In general, don’t start sentences with There is, There are, or There were.

WORDY: There are many ways in which we can classify houses.
REVISED: We can classify houses in many ways.

Avoid cluttering sentences with nouns.

WORDY: The reason for George’s refusal to be a member of the secret society was his dislike of its elitism.
REVISED: George refused to join the secret society because he disliked its elitism.

Remove adjective clauses like who are, which was, and that were.

WORDY: The antique dealer who is on Allen Street has a pair of silver candlesticks that were designed by Paul Revere.
REVISED: The antique dealer who is on Allen Street has a pair of silver candlesticks designed by Paul Revere.

Replace prepositional phrases with single adjectives or adverbs.

WORDY: She regarded me in a stern way.
REVISED: She regarded me sternly.

Remove “to be” whenever possible.

WORDY: Vince Lombardi was considered to be an excellent football coach.
REVISED: Vince Lombardi was considered an excellent football coach.

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Writing is a series of Choices

Writing is a series of choices. As you work on your manuscript you choose your subject, your approach, and your sources. Then when it is time to write you choose the words that will express your ideas and decide how you will arrange those words into sentences and paragraphs. As you make revisions you make more choices. You might ask yourself, “Is this really what I mean?” or “Will readers understand this?” or “Does this sound good?” Finding words that capture your meaning and convey that meaning to your readers is challenging. When editors write things like “awkward,” or “wordy” on your document, they are letting you know that they want you to work on word choice. Keep in mind that it can sometimes take more time to “save” words from your original sentence than to write a brand new one to convey the same meaning or idea. Don’t be too attached to what you’ve already written. If you start a new sentence you may be able to choose words with greater clarity.

Sometimes the problem isn’t choosing exactly the right word to express an idea. It is the usage of the words or being “wordy”. Also, using words that are “extra” or inefficient can be the problem. Take a look at these:

1. “I came to the realization that…” why not say, “I realized that…”
2. “She is of the opinion that…” why not say, “She thinks that….”
3. “Regardless of the fact that…” simplify to, “Although…”

Be careful when using words you are unfamiliar with. Look at how they are used in context and check their dictionary definitions. Be careful when using the thesaurus. Each word may have its own unique connotation or shades of meaning. Use a dictionary to be sure the synonym you are considering really fits what you are trying to say.

Don’t try to make your work sound impressive or authoritative. In the end, you will come off as pompous and will lose your reader to boredom. Take a look at these two sentences and decide which one you would rather read.

1. Under the present conditions of our society, marriage practices generally demonstrate a high degree of homogeneity.
2. In our culture, people tend to marry others who are like themselves.

Whenever we write we make choices. Some are less obvious than others so that it can often feel like we’ve written the sentences the only way we know-how. Read your paper out loud and at a slow pace. You can do this alone or with a friend. When reading out loud, your written words should make sense to both you and other listeners. If a sentence seems confusing, rewrite it to make the meaning clear.

 

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