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When to hit Send: Editor's Notes #343
July 07, 2021

It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.
—C. J. Cherryh

In this issue:

1. When to hit Send
2. Tickled my funny bone
3. Interesting Web site
4. Writing prompt
5. My Covid-19 offer to you

1.When to hit send
When to hit Send depends on your goal. This article gives my take on when to hit the send button when you are paying an editor to look at your manuscript. Even in this case, goals matter.

In a substantive edit, the editor looks at the structure of the manuscript. If you are paying for a substantive edit, spending a great deal of time fixing misused commas is not getting the best return for time invested. This is not to say you should send sloppy writing, but to keep the focus on what is paid for. The more structural problems the writer fixes before hitting the send button, the more helpful the editor can be because the writer’s big picture intentions are probably clearer.

When paying for a copy edit, on the other hand, correcting as many of those comma errors ahead of time will probably save you money. Time is money, and the more work the editor has to do, the more the editor must charge the writer.

When writers send me a sample of writing, I return a sample of my editing along with a quote for the full range of my services. The next time a writer contacts me, he or she has a better idea of what the goal of the editing session could be, so the writer can decide how much to polish before hitting Send.

I do recommend that a writer submitting a sample to me hit send only when he or she has done the best possible writing. That assures the lowest possible quote. I ask for writing samples of 500 words, so the writer has to polish only 500 words to a high sheen.

Read the Covid-19 offer below for information on getting your own sample edit.

2.Tickled my funny bone
Sign at an electric company:
We would be delighted if you send in your payment on time. However, if you don't, YOU will be de-lighted.

3. Interesting Web site
This page gives quotes by successful authors and editors on the topic of when a piece of writing is done.

4. Writing prompt
Letting go happens in many aspects of life besides writing. Recall or imagine a situation where someone has a choice between letting go or holding on. Write about that. Second level challenge: Write about the same situation with different endings, one where the character lets go and one where the character holds on.

5. My Covid-19 offer to you
Depending on where you live, you may be experiencing loosening Covid restrictions or increasing infection rates. In either case, I still expect to hold this offer open until September 2021.

What follows is a copy and paste from issue number 309. The offer is still in force for you and anyone you choose to tell about it.

Along with the health threat hanging over the world, we are facing a huge financial hit. I’ve decided one thing I can do is to make quality editing less expensive during this trying time.

For subscribers to Editor’s Notes and their friends, I am suspending the fee for the sample edit to anyone using the code EN19 until I cancel this offer. I intend to keep this offer open as long as the world is in crisis with Covid-19 and its aftermath, so watch this space. I will give a warning here before I pull this offer. You can submit your writing sample at Be sure to click the link below the heading "Promotion Code" to get to the special form for a free sample edit. If you find yourself at a form before clicking the special link, scroll slowly back up the page, and you should see the link for the code (EN19).

But it gets better…

When I return an edited writing sample, I include quotes for the full range of my editing services. Until further notice, I will give a true quote, but I will not charge writers the full amount. I am discounting my services 50% for subscribers to Editor’s Notes and their friends. I will give a warning here before I pull this offer.

Feel free to pass this offer along to any writing friends you think may be interested. As long as anyone uses the code, I’ll honour the offer.

This is what I can offer you in this time of crisis. I hope it encourages you as you face possible illness and financial uncertainty.

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