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Thoughts on Editing

by Linda Jenkinson

In the past, I worked as a technical, content writer for several years and worked with several editors. I find truth in the adage, “One man’s trash is another’s treasure.” Editors are people and their skills vary just as much as the skills of the writers they edit.

man in trashcan
"One man's trash is another's treasure"

I wouldn’t pay $50.00 per story (the going rate, or so I understand) to read or edit my work. I use Duotrope to find markets for my submissions and these markets all have their style preferences and even the paying ones rarely pay more than $50.00.

Hemingway, makes a great beginning for online editing, but the online app isn’t comprehensive enough for my needs. Also, the desk top version is available only for Windows and Apple. My OS is Linux Ubuntu. After trying several on-line editors, I stopped at ProWritingAid. I don’t think there’s anything that can beat it. Sometimes it gets bossy, but I use what works and ignore the rest. If you used Mark Twain’s flair for the vernacular or Charles Dickens’s “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” most online editing apps and grammar checkers would tilt!

I am a Master Class student. MC is well worth the money I pay. Prices range from 15 to 23 USD per month, billed annually. I figure it's money well spent. I have taken classes so far from Neil Gammon, Solomon Rushde, Margaret Atwood, and Joyce Carol Oates. Right now I am learning from Walter Mosley. Besides the classes I've taken, I have several more in line to start. I like doing one at a time. (One track mind!). Master Class also has an app for Android. Nice for car rides. I was streaming the classes on our TV because I like the larger screen, but now I use my laptop because they have added a notebook on the side of the videos. Each class also had a supplementary PDF. 

I was active at Critique Circle for a while, but absent lately because of medical reasons. (NOT Covid, thank providence!) I’m satisfied with the critical input of the members there, although one reason I have been less active is because of the “tit for tat.” I have nothing to critique and don’t want others to feel ‘beholding.’ I don’t know when I will have stories to post again. I miss critiquing (I love playing editor), and am thinking of starting again soon, but requesting critiquers to ignore tit for tat.


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