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The Spy Who Came in From the Cold: Book versus Movie Script

A novel and its screenplay well demonstrate the skills of revising and editing. A book must be pared down to fit a film’s run length and to eliminate much of the scene setting in a novel done with words and not visual cues. A terrific author, a terrific scriptwriter.

Script by Paul Dehn

“Paul Dehn (pronounced “Dane”; 5 November 1912 – 30 September 1976) was a British screenwriter, best known for Goldfinger, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Planet of the Apes sequels and Murder on the Orient Express. . . .” (external link)

Girl: “How can you turn the world upside down? What rules are you playing?

Leamas: “There’s only one rule — expediency. Mundt gives London what it wants so Fidelier dies and Mundt lives. It was a foul, foul operation but it paid off.”

Girl: “Who for?”

Leamas: “What the hell do you think spies are? Moral philosophers measuring everything they do against the word of God or Karl Marx? They’re not.

They’re just a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards like me. Little men, drunkards, queers, henpecked husbands, civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives.

Do you think they sit like monks in a cell, balancing right against wrong? Yesterday I would have killed Mundt because I thought him evil and an enemy. But not today.

Today he is evil and my friend. London needs him. They need him so that the great, moronic masses you admire so much can sleep soundly in their flea-bitten beds again.

They need him for the safety of ordinary, crummy people like you and me.

Book by John le Carré

‘How can you turn the world upside down?’ Liz shouted suddenly. ‘Fiedler was kind and decent; he was only doing his job, and now you’ve killed him. Mundt is a spy and a traitor and you protect him. Mundt is a Nazi, do you know that? He hates Jews … what side are you on? How can you…?’

‘There’s only one law in this game,’ Leamas retorted. ‘Mundt is their man; he gives them what they need. That’s easy enough to understand, isn’t it? Leninism — the expediency of temporary alliances.

What do you think spies are: priests, saints and martyrs? They’re a squalid procession of vain fools, traitors too, yes; pansies, sadists and drunkards, people who play cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten lives.

Do you think they sit like monks in London balancing the rights and wrongs? I’d have killed Mundt if I could, I hate his guts; but not now. It so happens that they need him.

They need him so that the great moronic mass that you admire can sleep soundly in their beds at night. They need him for the safety of ordinary, crummy people like you and me.’

Richard Burton at his best on film. A low key rant that rival’s Nicholson’s performance in A Few Good Men. (internal link)

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A Few Good Lines From a Few Good Men

Thomas Guy Farley Testifies in Court on

LTJG Kaffee: Mr. Farley. Did you build the website

Judge Randolph: You don’t have to answer that question!

Farley: I’ll answer the question. You want answers?

LTJG Kaffee: I think I’m entitled to them.

Farley: You want answers?!

LTJG Kaffee: I want the truth!

Farley: You can’t handle the truth!

Son, we live in a world that has poorly written pages, and those pages have to be revised and edited by men and women with keyboards. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep to pay for content and you curse someone having to edit it. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know — that revising that copy, while costing a few dollars, probably saved your company’s reputation and my existence, while grotesque and expensive to you, saves that public image you’ve built up.

You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that page — you need me on that page.

We use words like “revising,” “SEO,” “editing.” We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending literacy and first page ranking on Google. You use them as a punch line.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very keywords and on page SEO that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it.

I would rather that you just said “thank you” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a keyboard and start revising. Either way, I don’t give a DAMN what you think you’re entitled to!

LTJG Kaffee: Did you build that writing website?

Farley: I did the job —

LTJG Kaffee: — Did you build that writing website!


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What Content Authority Means in SEO and Why it is Important

January 2, 2021

What Does Content Authority Mean?

Content authority means a website that Google considers an encyclopedic reference to a particular field or topic. Any practitioner in a highly competitive market should have this Wikipedia like presence if they can afford it.

Mark the word, “If.” A website like this is expensive and costs must be compared beforehand against other choices like ad buys. The goal, of course, is for a post or page to eventually appear on page one of Google search results without buying ads to do so.

Making a website attractive to search engines is what’s called search engine optimization or SEO.

What makes up this encyclopedic reference? Dozens, scores, perhaps hundreds of pages and posts full of content.  Content for non-media companies gets primarily expressed through the written word in posts and pages. For now.

Videos get placed higher in search results than written content on the same subject. This will continue and video production will increase substantially in the next few years.

Still, written content remains and will remain the basis of searchable pages and posts; anything written now can be the script of any video produced later on.

Posts, pages, or video, everything comes back to the written word.

How Does Developing a Content Authority Website go in Practice?

Identifying Topics

Let’s assume a criminal defense attorney who handles DUI/DWI. Clients will of course ask the question, “What happens when I get arrested for being under the influence?” The practitioner knows that question only hints at a broader subject. There’s pre-arrest, arrest, and post-arrest questions. So be it.

Rather than writing completely original pages from scratch for the client’s website, a team looks at his or her competitor’s sites to see how they cover arrest and then they model pages after those. That can be done manually, simply by looking at websites, or a web company might use ahrefs (external link, non-sponsored) is to make a topic list. Identifying existing topics is only a start because Google especially favors original page and post topics, not just the subjects every attorney covers.

Any page modeled must be rewritten to pass Copyscape (external link, non-sponsored) which is a plagiarism detection website. It searches the net for duplicate content and it can also compare an original text to what has been rewritten. Educators use it for identifying plagiarism in school reports and it is the gold standard for alerting on stolen content on the web.

Passing Copyscape means modeled pages are sufficiently different from the original to satisfy Google as new content. Failing Copyscape means content gets ranked as duplicate  and is penalized because of it. Any content creation company gives their writers access to a Copyscape account so they can check their work before submitting it .

Getting Pages Written

Assignments are handed out after the SEO lead determines which keywords the writer should include on the page or post. As well as whatever else the SEO lead decides. SEO is a dark art. There are more than just keywords to consider on the written page. Truly successful SEO techniques developed independently through extensive research and testing are rarely shared outside a company

To be clear, this ‘on page SEO’ is different than what is done in the background or off page with work like link building.

Keywords and techniques are often derived through analyzing statistics, a costly and overwhelming website for the uninitiated. ahrefs is like studying telemetry from Mars. “Great. We have all this information about ourselves and the competition. Now, what does it mean?” Editors needn’t be expert with ahrefs but familiarity is essential.

Back to writing. And time.

It’s all about time when considering the cost of a content authority website.

My experience over the last five and a half years with Philippine freelancer writers is that they can turn in a 500 to 750 word page or post in three to ten hours, three being exceptional. Figure five as average.

This assumes a writer has been given at least two or three pages to model along with any other resources an assignment editor thinks will help. The writer must fact check and research anything submitted. New writers should provide links to the web sites they used. That is time consuming for them but it saves the more highly paid editor time to fact check the writer. Writing completely original pages of course takes more time and the writer will need more help.

After submitting their work, some back and forth goes on between the writer and the editor and the person requesting the page. I found  it took twenty minutes on average to revise and edit a writer’s work. Sometimes I sent back work if the writing was badly off but I usually handled most things myself. Writers who can’t supply clean, accurate copy cost more than a job search for someone else.

Some companies promise rewriting by machine by programs called article spinners or word spinners, some powered, supposedly, by artificial intelligence. Right.

I’ve tried at least five of them to get production up with terrible results. A word spinner isn’t meant to fact check or do research; it assumes the original content is accurate and up to date which one can never do. Forgiving that time consuming point, the word spinners I tried were just electronic thesauruses. I spent more time editing their copy than it would have taken me to rewrite from scratch. None of them possessed A/I any more than peanut butter. And despite my repeated requests, none of these companies ever showed me a law office page done primarily by spin writing.

NB: January 3, 2021. I have an update on A/I and spinners at the end of this post.)

Editing and Revising Pages

To state the obvious, it is essential that an editor has a background in the field his or her writers are writing about. Foreign writers without a legal background and focused on a narrow assignment often fail to see the bigger picture. For example, the difference between misdemeanors and felonies, viewing them only by the amount of time served. Less emphatic writing results when just the opposite should occur. A misdemeanor means county jail where home and help are probably close by, a felony means a distant state prison with the possibility of being shipped out of state. And the invocation of larger laws like Three Strikes, loss of voting rights, a ban against possessing firearms once released, and so on. An editor should know these things before editing any law firm’s website.

In my case, I was a freelance legal assistant long ago in the Sacramento, California area for a number of criminal defense and general practice lawyers. As well as a poverty law firm.I assisted with trial prep, wrote points and authorities, legal briefs, interrogs, and conducted an enormous amount of research into finding case and statutory law that was on point for whatever case I had been assigned. Nearly all of this was hardcopy research, although I did get to use one of the first dedicated Lexis/Nexis terminals which was at that poverty law firm.

More recently, I was a content management specialist for Infocus Web Marketing. InFocus deals only with law office websites. (external link)

to be continued. . . 

Would you like to know more about writing and editing? I am for hire!

I get the job done without asking or handholding. I won’t bluff my way through if I’m not sure but I take initiative when I am. SEO isn’t my strength — writing and editing is. My old boss is John at inFocus and he will recommend me. (e-mail link)


Some of my writing related to this page (all internal links)

More on Writing for Machines (More on business writing for bots and algorithms)

Do I Need to Repeat Myself? (Business writing must incorporate SEO techniques)

Deeper into SEO (A Berkeley Writing for Social Media course fails)

Who/m are We Writing For? (The end reader today may not be human)

— Non-sponsored video links

SEO Fundamentals. No SEO lead can fully work without ahrefs.

Video and SEO and Rankings.  Interesting but overly optimistic view.

January 3, 2021 update on A/I and spinners

I tried Rytr this morning with poor results despite positive reviews from people I now think are Rytr affiliate members who make money from signups. I asked customer support to show me any website primarily built with Rytr and that I was especially interested in the legal field.

They responded that Rytr shouldn’t be used for “Legal writings” [sic]. Much later they said in broken English, “Rest, we don’t keep a track of where our content is getting used.” In other words, they have no references. Any person or company who is proud of their work or product has references. They don’t.

It remains that I have not seen any website of any kind primarily made with a spin writer. Let’s call these allegedly A/I powered writing programs dead for building web pages and move on. Vaporware.

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Overly sensitive types at the start of the Snowflake Era began substituting the word “problem” for the word “issue.” Today, “issues” is everywhere. Your car no longer has any problems but instead a number of issues to be taken care of.

Realizing that the word “issues” was far too soft for more serious problems, the word “problematic” came into being. Something like a problem, just less confrontational and direct. Which is the whole problem.

Here’s some nonsense from the Fresno Bee:

“Kern Valley State Prison is a maximum security Level IV prison that houses 4,600 male inmates, some of whom are considered the state’s most problematic inmates.”

Problematic? A writer can’t call these vicious murders and rapists problem inmates? The writer can’t follow common sense and reality enough to use the word “problem”? Who is the writer protecting with that language? Whose sensitivity are they damaging?

I wouldn’t use the word “some”, either, since Level IV means you are in for a violent crime. All of them are brutal and vicious thugs and we all know it. Everyone knows it. Everyone.

So, again, why is the writer using the word problematic?

A reporter’s whole job is to report the facts. Don’t write if you can’t write the truth.

These dangerous career criminals need their lives represented accurately to inform society of the risk these people pose. We don’t need a reporter with sensitivity issues. That’s problematic.

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Rewriting F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’ve always liked the following sentence from the Great Gatsby but I’m bothered by how  “careless” and “carelessness” are found so close together. Fitzgerald is making an important point in this sentence but the second use doesn’t expand on what he’s trying to say. It’s repetitious for no purpose, detracting from his meaning rather than adding to it.

The Great Gatsby could do with better clarity around its timeline but Fitzgerald’s writing style is untouchable. This is the only sentence I would fuss with.

Fitzgerald: “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

Revision Idea #1 “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or the holes in their souls that let them make other people clean up the mess they had made.”

Comment.  Holes in their souls. Sounds like their shoes have a problem. Don’t like the rhyme. It’s cute. Cute never justifies inclusion. I left out “whatever kept them together.” Doesn’t seem to add to the sentence. Let me see if I can include that part later.

Revision Idea #2 “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or the emptiness in their souls that let them make other people clean up the mess they had made.”

Comment. Make? How about forced? This speaks to the duties wrongfully imposed on other people.

Revision Idea #3 “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or the emptiness in their souls that forced other people to clean up the mess they had made.”

Comment. Still not there. I don’t like the heaviness of the word forced when carelessness is also used, the dark with the light. Let’s go back to the previous try.

Revision Idea # 4 “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or the emptiness in their souls that let them make other people clean up the mess they had made.”

Comment. At this point I am walking away. Unless I was under a tight deadline, this kind of problem needs some thought while other editing and revisions are addressed.


That was a good break. I got far away in the revisions above from my original intent to avoid repeating “careless” in the same sentence. Editors can get fixated on the wrong things as much as writers. Let me get back to what I first wanted.

Revision Idea #5 “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their thoughtless nature, whatever shared flaw that kept them together, leaving others to clean up the mess they had made.”

Comment. Happy enough with this that I would leave this revision for the author to weigh in on. Here’s what I like about Idea #5:

Changed “emptiness of their souls” to “empty souls.” Brief is better.
Put back “whatever it was that kept them together.” That thought might be important to the author, consequently, there is now Less for the author to bitch about.

F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre. Photo: Courtesy of BETTMANN/CORBIS
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Writing Within Different Styles Part 1 (Repost – additions and corrections)

Writing Within Different Styles (Part 1)

Little writing is more stilted or conforming to its trade than legal writing.

Anything submitted to the court must sound legal, just as the IRS tax Code must sound like all that previously written in the Code.

Opinions rendered by the court start with a recitation of the facts. We see that in movies when a law professor calls on a student to answer questions about a case. In this video, the actor John Houseman states the facts of a case for an unprepared student.

Details can be very vague when facts are first presented, completely unlike how you start a newspaper article. There, you are solidly in the world of Who, What, Why, Where, When and How. And brevity — a strong opening in a newspaper article answers the five “Ws” and “H” in two or three short sentences.

Given that you have few enriching details to work with in initially describing the facts in an opinion, clarity and presenting a straightforward sequence of events becomes paramount. I cannot stress how important timelines are to the law. Every lawyer starts with developing a timeline and everything comes back to that timeline. Also, by getting the facts in the right order, we begin to get our thoughts in order.

The brilliant Jurist Benjamin Cardozo writes here for the majority of the New York Court of Appeals in the landmark 1928 case, Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Company. (Cite omitted.) This is clarity and sequence at its best. Cardozo is helped along with a fun mix of facts that include fireworks, a train, and a falling scale.

“Plaintiff was standing on a platform of defendant’s railroad after buying a ticket to go to Rockaway Beach. A train stopped at the station, bound for another place. Two men ran forward to catch it. One of the men reached the platform of the car without mishap, though the train was already moving. The other man, carrying a package, jumped aboard the car, but seemed unsteady as if about to fall. A guard on the car, who had held the door open, reached forward to help him in, and another guard on the platform pushed him from behind. In this act, the package was dislodged, and fell upon the rails. . . . ”

This shouldn’t be confused with an executive summary in business writing. Facts are disclosed there but also conclusions. Not in the law. Not yet. Asking a lawyer or student to summarize a case is different than asking to cite the case facts. Back to Cardozo’s writing.

“. . . It was a package of small size, about fifteen inches long, and was covered by a newspaper. In fact it contained fireworks, but there was nothing in its appearance to give notice of its contents. The fireworks when they fell exploded. The shock of the explosion threw down some scales at the other end of the platform, many feet away. The scales struck the plaintiff, causing injuries for which she sues.”

Declarative writing is also essential in legal writing. State something positively if you are positive on the facts. Or, mostly positive. Advocacy does not belong to the meek.

“We believe John took the car.”

No. If you want to believe, go to church. But never use believe in the law.

“We think John took the car.”

No. Think on your own time.

“John took the car.”

Damn right he did.

More later . . .

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Let’s Return to Direct Lead Paragraphs

A Wandering Lead and Three Revisions

Writers must compose direct lead paragraphs or risk losing readers. A wandering opening finds readers lost, wandering somewhere else. A direct opening can’t guarantee that a reader will continue but a clear, direct path provides an obvious trail.

Wandering lead from Salon (external link):

So lately I’ve had people passing around this article by Caitlin Flanagan about the p.c. police ruining campus comedy, which appears to be stage one of a one-two punch from the Atlantic about how p.c.-ness is ruining college in general, with the haymaker being Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s magnum opus about how p.c. culture is somehow not only killing academic discourse but also infecting us all with mental illness.

What a mess. Here’s one possible revision, guessing in part what the writer means:

Caitlin Flanagan writes in the Atlantic that the P.C. Police are ruining campus comedy and the college experience in general. Her piece builds on Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s earlier Atlantic article which asserted that P.C. culture kills academic discourse and infects us all with mental illness. I don’t agree. Let me tell you why.

Less abrupt:

Have the P.C. Police killed campus comedy and the college experience overall? Caitlin Flanagan thinks so. Writing in the Atlantic, her article builds on Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s previous piece which asserts that P.C. culture kills academic discourse and infects us all with mental illness. I don’t agree with this trio. Let me tell you why. style:

A poorly informed Caitlin Flanagan writes in the Atlantic that the P.C. Police are ruining campus comedy and the college experience in general. Really? Her piece builds on Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s earlier Atlantic article, also badly reasoned, which claimed that P.C. culture kills academic discourse and infects us all with mental illness. These three Trumpians are wrong. Sick and wrong. Here’s why.

Newspaper Leads

Here are some newspaper article leads I wrote for the West Sacramento News Ledger, a small town weekly. They respect a reader’s time by immediately telling them what the article is about.

The TBD Fest boomed into West Sacramento’s Bridge District this weekend, forming a youthful community centered on music, art, drink, and food. But noise complaints threatened to break up the sybaritic world its founders sought to create.

Social media and telephone lines blew up on TBD weekend to praise and protest the event. Common ground for all sides seemed reachable if noise levels could be better managed. Controlling that din, though, proved difficult, despite shorter hours and City monitoring. On the subject of noise that weekend, no one agrees.

California’s primary and general elections are six months and eleven months away, respectively, but political parties are busy preparing for these upcoming votes. The News-Ledger reports on three parties’ arrangements and how West Sacramento may be impacted.

If you want to get outdoors but don’t have much time, the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area the a perfect place to go. It makes up the entire area visible from the Yolo Causeway with its main entrance only three miles from West Sacramento. You’ll see birds, an unusual, intensely managed landscape, and experience a relaxing break from city pressure.

The old Washington District firehouse at 317 Third Street is being reborn as a bar and a restaurant. The once neglected landmark sits at the foot of the I Street Bridge, its renewal just part of the larger revitalizing Bridge District. The News-Ledger reached out to Bay Miry with D&S Development who answered several questions about the pioneering urban project.

Are you ready for a disaster? CERT members are. CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team. There are teams across the country, often sponsored by a fire department. Here in West Sacramento, over 250 citizen volunteers in the last six years have trained in emergency preparedness and assistance.

The Sail Inn on Jefferson Boulevard is being reopened and rechristened as the Sail Inn Grotto & Bar. Launch date is late February. All aboard.

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Revised Post on Revising

NB: I wrote this post last year and titled it “More on Revising.” (internal link) I noticed tonight that it needed more work so I have revised this post on revising. Argh. Editing never ends.

More on Revising — Updated

Editing and proofreading fiddles with copy, revising recasts. A team member submitted a page with this paragraph. He is a fine writer but under deadline. I have more time as I am generally not doing original research and writing, rather, editing and revising material already written.

Here’s the troublesome paragraph:

“When you are in a difficult situation, you don’t want your lawyer to be inaccessible, unsympathetic, and only speaks in confusing legal jargon. You want legal service that’s not only effective but compassionate as well. That’s exactly the kind of service our clients get at Donovan and Reed.”

Did you catch all the negative sounding words? They are: 1) difficult 2) don’t 3) inaccessible 4) unsympathetic 5) confusing 6) not.

Public business writing must be positive. These everyday words and phrases together present a negative tone. Instead of saying what a customer doesn’t want, say what a customer does want. And, perhaps most importantly, what the company providing the service wants as well.

It took an hour and at least ten revisions before I was happy. This time was abnormally long for a single paragraph, however, this was for a client’s home page. Home pages must be positive, copy has to move — no rambling!

Here’s my revision:

“You want a lawyer who is accessible, sympathetic, and plain speaking. You also want legal service that’s effective and compassionate. That’s what we want, too. And that’s exactly what we provide at Donovan & Reed.”

Details? Besides knocking out the negative words, I eliminated, “When you are in a difficult situation.” The customer is undoubtedly already in one if they are looking for a lawyer.

As I mentioned, it’s important to state that the law firm’s wishes are the same as the person seeking help. “We want that, too.” This invests or aligns the company with the potential customer’s concerns. It’s not just the customer desiring something, it’s the business as well.


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Not Only

Not Only

“Not only” is a phrase which brings negativity to a piece and prevents you from directly and quickly stating your position.


Not only is ice cream tastier than sherbet but it appeals to more people.


Ice gream is tastier than sherbet and it appeals to more people.


The revised sentence states what the writer wanted to say in the first place. No distracting elements. Which included the word “but” which has a near subliminal negative connotation if used too many times.

Good business writing directly states the possible. Too many negative or contrary words pull down what we want to lift up.

More examples.

I am editing a writer that I work with in the first example and in the last two I am correcting Orwell. 🙂


If you’ve been waiting for months, it’s reasonable to check every few days. This is important not only so that you can alleviate your worries but also so that you are promptly aware of any potential obstacle delaying your claim.


It’s reasonable to check every few days if you’ve been waiting for months. This helps alleviate your worries and promptly lets you know of any obstacle delaying your claim.


In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides.


There is no agreed definition of a word like democracy and any attempt to make one is resisted from all sides.


Words like romantic, plastic, values, human, dead, sentimental, natural, vitality, as used in art criticism, are strictly meaningless, in the sense that they not only do not point to any discoverable object, but are hardly ever expected to do so by the reader.


Words like romantic, plastic, values, human, dead, sentimental, natural, vitality, as used in art criticism, are strictly meaningless because they do not point to any discoverable object and are hardly ever expected to do so by the reader.

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Real Life Word Problems

Real Life Word Problems

Few online editors rely on a manual of style anymore like CMOS. They may have a self-developed style sheet but that’s it.

Complicated word problems are the province of editors with university presses, literary reviews, or those hardcopy editors working with extremely fussy and well published authors.

Writers should be handing in well polished and straightforward text. It’s up to their editors to solve any complicated word problems which they will deal with in the simplest way possible.

Looking up a thousand different opinions on the internet or in a dozen different style manuals is not the simplest way.


Few thoughts on real world, real life sentence, construction, grammatical problems, they are something of an English class not they don’t really live in the real world. For example, if you had a question regarding where to put the apostrophe in women’s liberation, there’s a couple of ways to you know, there’s two different ways to place the apostrophe, which is better just. If if you need to do that and not just simply recast the sentence, which is far quicker, then try both.

Possibilities in Google search, you’ll see the amount of results you’ve seen this and search engine results, the number of occurrences and go with the majority. It may not be the king’s English, but you are not writing for the king. You are writing for maybe yourself, probably somebody else, somebody that’s hiring you. And this is really the job, though, of an editor. Your job as a writer, as an online freelance contract writer is to deliver a fairly polished piece, underworked count or at word count under deadline, always under deadline.

And it is for the editor to polish it, to tighten it up. If they have to do too much, polishing, too much work, they’ll let you know. But generally, it’s to the editor to solve these complex questions. And usually they are not really complex to the editor I when I was working with my writers. I could recast a sentence or a couple of words in seconds, I didn’t need to go up on the Internet to find a possible problem.

And when you go on the Internet, you get all sorts of conflicting advice. That’s why. And a current search with Google is far better is a far better idea. But generally, as an editor, I’ll recast the sentence because the writer doesn’t care about how you do it. He just or she just wants a check and wants the next assignment. Now, unfortunately, these companies like indie dotcom, they’ll give you and I tested I tested writing skills and indeed dotcom and did very poorly.

But it’s not really a writer’s job in the real world to figure out these things. The only time we’re not we’re not fussy. We’re we’re not Conrado is that we’re not Tolstoi. We’re we don’t care about the where you place the commas. The only time that I have received comments on sentence structure and word usage was from a literary press. They published an article of mine. And I’ve only approached a literary literary press once. And of course, literary presses are all connected with or usually connected with the university or college English department.

So they are going to be fussy in this case. I thought my article was about 90, 95 percent correct, and I told them, just fix whatever you want fixed. I have my message solidly across and I don’t care about how you fine tune it. I really don’t. As far as where you’re going to place a period or a bunch of quotation marks, I’ve done the majority of work for you. They completely understood and they were happy to do it, to edit it their way.

And that came out just fine. Sometimes you will get from major magazines proofs where they’ll send you a mock up or a dummy of how the article is going to look. And again, you really don’t care about sentence construction at that point. The only times I’ve had problems with magazine publishers is cut lines or captions. I prefer captions to present something new rather than repeat something in the article. But you’ll find that most editors like the captions to reflect the text.

But side issue, you can work that out with your editor. But, uh, who cares about semicolons really in the real world? Unfortunately, with the service like indie dotcom, you get tested on that. So, um, where do we stand? So don’t just get get your material, get your assignment in beat word, count every single time, bring it under. Bring it under deadline and the editor will finish it up and like I say, if you’re a new writer and it’s taking too much time and this would often happen with new writers, you have to train them up, bring them along.

But the only time I ever researched any kind of complex sentence or paragraph construction was when I thought the writer had a really strong set of sentences and that if I did a little bit of work, I could make this even better. But that’s rare. Usually if they’re using a complicated word, I just immediately use a simpler one. Recasting a sentence takes sentence, takes seconds and. And I wish these writing tests didn’t exist, but they do, so you have to muddle your way through and that’s why it’s good to have a resume, a website, so that you can actually put sentences together.

And again, the editor doesn’t care. The editor’s got so much work to do. They’re not looking this stuff on the web anyway. So, anyway, good luck to you and I will talk to you soon.