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INCLUDES BONUS FREE E-DOWNLOADS: TEMPLATES FOR GRANT WRITING!

Grant writing shouldn’t feel like a trip to the dentist. Take the pain out of the process with this innovative and fun, yes fun, guide. Learn all the inside tips and tools of the grant-writing trade in this easy-to-read and upbeat book.
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Author Topic: Editorial Services by Mel Finefrock  (Read 7805 times)  

Offline hopeburnsblue

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Editorial Services by Mel Finefrock
« on: October 02, 2014, 10:08:21 PM »
Introduction:

Since graduating from the University of North Texas in May 2013 with a bachelor of arts in English, I have pursued my long-time dream of working as a freelance editor. My mission is to help other writers shine. So far, I've edited ten novels and one biography among four independently published fiction authors, one personal essay for an actress and playwright, and one scholarly article for two academic authors. I love what I do because I get to enjoy literature and help others all at once.

A note of interest is that I'm a writer, myself. When I'm not redlining a manuscript or transcribing audio files with Burns Transcription Service, I can often be found writing just for fun. I have published prose and poetry with online literary publications such as Wordgathering and the Jawline Review. My poetry has received awards from the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities and the University of North Texas. I also serve as a frequent guest blogger with entities such as Disability.gov, the Mighty, and the Huffington Post, and one of my articles with Disability.gov even landed me a couple of interviews with the BBC in early 2015. As such, it goes without saying that I chose to be an editor because I love literature, or just words in general, and can approach the process both technically and creatively.

About my editing style:

I am blind and therefore do not focus on visual formatting of a given document; hence, I largely focus on spelling, grammar, punctuation, content, etc. I also don't use comments or track changes within a single document, because although the accessibility of these media has improved somewhat, I find them interruptive to my understanding of text flow. As such, my style is largely conversational--that is to say, I directly involve my clients in the revision process so that they have the ultimate say in what happens with their work and can also grow as writers.

That said, I can edit one of two ways:

My original style: I read and listen to manuscripts a chapter at a time on my Braille note-taking device, called the Braille Sense U2, which is capable of Braille and speech output. Whenever I encounter a sentence that could use some reconstruction, I switch to an empty Word document on my laptop, running Windows 7 and a screenreading software called NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA), and make note of the problem area and suggestions on how to remedy it. For greater convenience, I direct-quote a phrase or short passage so that my client can use screen search (CTRL+F on Windows machines) to locate the excerpt in her/his original document and follow along, then proceed to make revisions.

Here is an example of my correction style within a grammatical space.

Problem sentence: I was  practicly raised in my grandparent's house, it's always been a real constant in my life.

Notes: You have an extra space in between "was" and "practicly"; "practicly" should be "practically"; "grandparent's" should be "grandparents'" because it's a plural possessive. As for the rest of the sentence, there are a few things you can do to address the comma splice, which means that you have two complete clauses (the text before the comma and the text after it) not-quite-logically adjoined by that comma. I'll list a few different remedies so that you can decide which is more in keeping with your writing style.
1. Change the comma before "it's always been ..." to a semicolon. This way, you have a compound sentence (except without the conjunctive "and," "but," etc.) if you hear only a slight pause in the middle while reading this aloud.
2. Change the comma splice to a period and capitalize "it's ..." to begin a new sentence.
3. Delete the comma altogether and place "because" in between. This lends to and conveys your intended logic.

Not all of my comments will always be quite this in depth; my editing style will vary depending on any problem areas in writing identified by the client or observed by myself. The cool thing is that I have tended to kind of memorize particular anomalies in a given client's writing and seek them out. For example, if I encounter a sentence that I know will contain a plural possessive, and I know a specific client struggles in that area, I'll keep an ear out for it.

I use this style less frequently now, but all of the clients with whom I've taken this approach have been reportedly appreciative thereof, because it fosters direct interaction with the text and enables them to better their writing. However, I continue to advertise this option in case of varied preferences and for the benefit of blind clients down the road who also struggle to navigate documents riddled with comments and track changes.

A newer method I've adopted: I listen to the manuscript read aloud on my computer, tethered to my Braille note-taker via USB so that I can see the flow of text on the Braille display and catch errors both audibly and tactilely. I write directly in the document in bracketed, bolded font of a different color so that the sighted author can easily spot notes and corrections. This is sort of like using track changes but still allows the author to make judgment calls about changes. I can also make executive changes for small scale issues like misspellings or absentee periods, but for things like word flow, sentence structure, organization, and development, I prefer to be in dialogue with the author about those things in order to best maintain her/his voice. Additionally, I have taken to engaging in Skype or phone conversations with my clients so that we can communicate concerning large scale progress and more complex organizational questions.

Regardless of which style I use, there is a major interpersonal element to my work, and I love and take pride in that. Watching my clients grow as writers has been amazing and rewarding for me. I've heard it said that authors sometimes become attached to their editors, and I can definitely say the same is true in reverse. If I haven't known them prior to an editing job, I end up forming friendships with them. I believe in giving constructive but compassionate criticism, in teaching but also being open to learning, and in praising gems in one's writing just as often as I point out things that need fixing. Because I myself am an artist, I also read from an appreciator's standpoint, giving both practical and personal feedback so that my clients can get an idea of how their audiences might respond. More often than not, these factors are what end up fostering a positive relationship, because they also promote a respectful environment.

Scope of editing:

This is my usual and recommended editing regimen, but I can change focus based on a client's preferences and experiential level.

Spelling, grammar, and punctuation
Word flow and sentence structure
Plot and character development
Consistency of content and writing style
Artistic/personal feedback

List of editing projects:

This is a list of publications for which I was either the sole editor or a collaborative editor.

Lynching Pascual Orozco: Mexican Revolutionary Hero and Paradox by Raymond Caballero
By Any Other Name by T. M. Opperman
The Tycoon's Mistress by Nonnie Frasier
The Rancher's Mail Order Bride by Nonnie Frasier
Rainwater Kisses by Krista Lakes
Champagne Kisses by Krista Lakes
Freshwater Kisses by Krista Lakes
Sandcastle Kisses by Krista Lakes
Hurricane Kisses by Krista Lakes
Wishful Kisses by Krista Lakes
Burned by Krista Lakes
"Black Feminist Activism: Theory as Generating Collective Resistance" by Michelle Perez and Eloise Williams
"Magic in a Bottle" by Caitlin Hernandez

List of writing samples:

If you would like to see how I tick as a writer, I invite you to peruse my growing list of publications. Some of these are blogs, some personal essays, some poetry.

On Falling and Getting Back Up (The Huffington Post)
Santa Monica Play Explores Loss and Healing (Disability.gov)
Artist Sees Painting as a Way of Life (Disability.gov)
Why I Don't Mind Being Considered an Inspiration (Disability.gov)
Making Images Accessible to People Who Are Blind (Disability.gov)
One Stranger Left Me With a Broken Cane, but Another Helped in the Best Way (The Mighty)
My Best Friend and I Are Both Blind. This Is What I See in Her Eyes. (The Mighty)
Touch Is Poetry (The Jawline Review)
What Love Sees (Wordgathering)
From Caterpillar Manuscript to Butterfly Novel: Eight Useful Tips for Editing Your Book (Keith Draws, Cover Artist)

I have tons more writing published informally on my deviantART page as well.

Pricing:

I now charge $0.03 per word--this would make the price of a 50,000 word manuscript $1,500--but I am more than willing to discuss payment plans. I know that we are all working to succeed and that the road to artistry, whether you're a writer or editor, can be a bumpy one.

How to Contact Me:

Phone: (972) 372-9934
E-mail: mel.finefrock@gmail.com

Thank you so much for your interest in my services. I hope to speak more with you soon!

All the best,
Mel Finefrock
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 03:59:49 PM by hopeburnsblue »

Offline keithdraws

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Re: Editor Services by Mel Finefrock
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 10:20:29 PM »
I'm a cover artist but I'm often asked about editors. I'll be certain to add you into my recommendations for clients.
I have a blog where  not only do I try to showcase my work but I also try and give advice and help to authors in all areas.  Many writers simply cannot afford  the services you and I offer when they are starting out and so have to create their own covers, do their own editing and so on. I feel that the more help we give, the more likely we are to get work from them in the future, since I am certain they would rather just concentrate on their writing. With this in mind, perhaps you'd consider writing a piece for my blog, giving general editorial pointers and advice to my readers, and I will of course put links etc. back to your website twitter and so on?
:D
         
      
   
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Offline hopeburnsblue

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Re: Editor Services by Mel Finefrock
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2014, 10:33:08 PM »
Keith, you are so sweet to consider recommending me to others! :) I'd love to write for your blog--what an honor that you'd ask. Just send me an e-mail and let me know what sort of angle you and your reader base might be interested in, whether you'd like writing samples aside from this post, etc., and I'll see what I can do!

Offline keithdraws

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Re: Editor Services by Mel Finefrock
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2014, 11:27:55 PM »
That's great. Thank you so much. I'm email you in the morning :D
         
      
   
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