Services

Editing

It is natural for every writer to get lost in the array of words on a page, become inebriated with aspects of what they have written and hit a wall looking for better ways to say something. Every writer winds up there. It is where an editor comes in handy. Stellar writing of any substance requires different skill sets and an objective set of eyes removed from the internal fray of a writing project.

I always begin with understanding client voice and purpose. I strive to capture your thoughts, feelings and ideas in your voice, what identifies with you. It’s not how would I say it; it’s how would you.

Michael CoffinoClient purpose is another thing entirely. When I was a writing coach to young lawyers and taught legal writing at an international law firm, I often invoked this mantra: “sloppy writing reveals sloppy thinking.” Looking at the project as a whole, what are you trying to say and why? The same questions apply when stumbling on awkward expression in the text, a vice that inflicts us all at times. Invariably, the answers are the tickets to fixing the writing problem.

I am keenly focused on the ever-important rhythm of reading material. Again, writers get buried in the details sometimes and can disrupt the flow of what they have written. I will transform your work to have a constant and seamless reading rhythm. 

I place great emphasis on efficiency in editing services. I offer what I call “efficient value.” I practiced law for almost 40 years and saw waste occur repeatedly in well-intentioned efforts to achieve perfection in legal writing, churning out iteration after iteration to refine content ad nauseum. The product improved, no question, but the client didn’t get commensurate value. Editing can last forever. The skill is knowing when you have efficiently achieved client purpose.

I take pride in hearing from clients, after I have edited their work, that they don’t know what I changed, even though, if I showed them a tracked-changes version, they might get bleary-eyed from all the red markings and deletions. It is an editorial achievement to return revised work that is precisely what the client thought they said in the first place. 

I am available to edit works of all kinds, as well as help formulate short works. If you need some help, I’d be pleased to hear from you.