Meet Jennifer Eagle
Jennifer Eagle became fascinated with writing at fourteen when a book of e.e. cummings’ poetry fell off a library shelf. She is currently working part time as a freelance Social Media Assistant on Instagram for the Professional Organizing sector. Jennifer recently completed a full length book of poetry in June 2022 she hopes to publish called ‘You Talk too Much.’ She led a popular bi-weekly writing group called The Inkblot for two and a half years in Edmonton, Alberta, on a volunteer basis until March 2020 when Covid shut it down. Jennifer was accepted into Sage Hill, a well respected writing retreat in Saskatchewan, in 2018, where she won a Robert Kroetsch bursary for her poetry. Jennifer has performed her poetry at many open mic’s over the years, and is an active member of the writing community. Her poetry has appeared in Secrets from the Orange Couch, The Rat Creek Press, and Words for Wellness Contest. Jennifer wrote a popular play, I Love No Name, which appeared in the Fringe, and she has published non-fiction. Jennifer Eagle’s current adventure is launching her business, Pen & Knife Editorial.
What kind of editing service do you need?
There are two broad types of editing to be aware of when you’re looking to hire a freelance editor: services that deal with content (structural editing and stylistic editing), and services that deal with correctness (copy editing and proofreading). Know also that line editors and stylistic editors are often referred to similarly, as are structural editors and developmental editors- these terms fly around a lot on the web!
When you obtain a structural editing job, the editor will go over the entire document or manuscript, looking at the big picture. Here is a sample structural editing checklist that they would review: Keep in mind that structural editing doesn’t involve rewriting your work or changing your ideas but collaborating with you to establish the content’s goals and provide valuable feedback.
A copy editor looks at the overall grammar and mechanics of your manuscript, while checking the project at the sentence level for spelling, style, and punctuation. These changes often happen at the sentence and paragraph level. An editor will look at your document line by line during copy edit to help eliminate awkward phrases, passive voice, incorrect word usage, and more.
Copy editing will also assist you with improving the overall word choice so you are not using cliches and your word choice is appropriate for the audience. For example, if you are publishing a blog, the word choice will be at a different reading level than if you are writing a dissertation paper.
If you’re still just looking for someone to focus on the basics of your writing, without messing around with your story too much, a copy editor would be a good choice.
Stylistic editing is a stage of editing that’s focused on language. We’ve all got idiosyncrasies and preferences of our own, so here we just make sure that your individual style is smooth, consistent, and clear. During a stylistic revision, the editor reads through to check that your text flows smoothly from sentence to sentence and paragraph to paragraph. Any wording that renders the message unclear, confusing, or awkward is addressed or at least highlighted.
Your editor will help you tighten up your prose by removing unnecessary words, gutting out redundancies, and looking for opportunities to use words and phrases that express the intended meaning more efficiently. Importantly, a good editor does all this without compromising authorial voice.
If you have written a creative piece, such as a poem (my speciality!) or short story, an editor will only suggest changes that will might make your piece stronger.
Proofreading is a term that’s often confused with copy editing and stylistic editing. But a proofreader is simply an editor who does one final comb through of a manuscript before it goes to print. They are looking for typos, grammatical mistakes, formatting issues, and other minutiae. Writers looking to publish will often hire a manuscript proofreader to give their project a final once-over, but don’t expect creative feedback with this type of service.
HIRING AN EDITOR NEXT STEPS
Proofreading and copy editing tend to be more useful for cleaner manuscripts, essays, webpages, documents, etc. that need one last polish. When you think about hiring a freelance editor, know that you will best be served by either a stylistic editor or a structural editor. These services do tend to be more expensive, but the level of feedback is worth the investment. Ideally, you will get enough advice about writing and storytelling that you can apply it to all of your future writing. That’s always my goal when I return an edit—I want to fill the writer’s toolbox in addition to discussing the issues on the page.
Don’t hesitate to reach out for editorial services via the contact form, below.