This shouldn’t even be a thing, and yet it is.

Abraxas Writing & Editing Services: Notice to Writers & Authors
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Effective immediately, Abraxas Writing & Editing Services will no longer accept manuscripts for editing that do not meet basic standards of manuscript formatting and readability. If your manuscript includes the following, we will not edit your work:

* Lack of paragraphs throughout the manuscript
* Lack of quotation marks throughout the manuscript
* Commas used instead of periods to end sentences
* Hard returns throughout the document
* Hidden characters throughout the document (if you aren’t sure what that means, use Google for further information)
* No capital letters at the beginning of every sentence
* Incomplete words as shorthand. Example: ‘e one’ used for ‘everyone’ throughout the manuscript
* Run-on sentences that turn the entire document into one or two long sentences
* Nonstandard fonts and font sizes (if you are unsure what standard fonts and font sizes are for manuscript submissions, it’s time to do your homework)
* Backward quotation marks throughout the document

There may be other egregious errors involved that are not listed here, but you get the point. Any proper document or manuscript must have a minimum of readability and formatting. If your work ignores such basic conventions, then you have corrections to make before you have any business submitting your work to anyone in the publishing industry.

Once you take the time to get your manuscript into proper form, you may then resubmit your manuscript to us for editing or proofreading. If you prefer, you may choose to keep your manuscript as-is or in barely readable form and find someone else who will take the time to muddle through and render it somewhat readable.

We will no longer ask our team of professional editors and proofreaders to wade through thousands of words and hundreds of pages of narrative and dialogue that is barely decipherable or understandable. To submit work in such a manner shows a lack of care and respect for any editor, agent, or publisher.

An essential part of writing professionally is learning the basics of submitting a manuscript for review and revision. If authors cannot or will not take the time to make these changes, we cannot and will not spend our time and energy correcting and improving their unreadable work.
Regards,
Bev Sninchak
Abraxas Writing & Editing Services
nocturnaleditor@gmail.com

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“Stop” it with the quotation marks “already”!

Dear writer, if you’re using quotation marks around every other word in nearly every sentence you’ve written, it’s overkill. Do “you” get “what” I’m “saying”? Or do I “need” to point “it” out to “you”?! Stop making “dumb” choices when you “write.” Good thing you have an editor. Otherwise, surly readers would be tempted to bludgeon you out of frustration!

Don’t pass off others’ work as yours! It’s called plagiarism!

Swiping material, using it in your manuscript and not crediting who originally wrote such material is called plagiarism, and no self-respecting writer should do that.

Writers, CITE your source material.

KNOW the rules of Fair Use when it comes to material.

UNDERSTAND copyright laws/rules.

Don’t pass off quotes as yours.

Don’t swipe articles off the internet and pass them off as yours, either. That’s STEALING!

This is elementary stuff. It’s the basics. You should KNOW better. Don’t think your editor won’t catch you at it or call you on it, because he/she WILL!

Know your semicolon!

For the love of all that’s holy, if you aren’t sure know how to use a semicolon, please don’t. Yes, semicolons are sexy (at least I think they are). Yes, semicolons are exotic (in my world, at least). Yes, semicolons are sophisticated (of course they are!). However, semicolons are NOT for the faint of heart.

To avoid making yourself look like a rank amateur, do your homework on the semicolon. Research it, learn about its usage and practice using them. Only after you have a working knowledge should you consider using it.

Otherwise, if you submit a manuscript that’s riddled with misused semicolons in place of periods and commas, your editor will be one unhappy camper. Take it from me.