What About the Spellcheck?

“In this digital age of spellcheckers and online dictionaries, why would anyone want to use a proofreader or copy editor? Surely, there’s an online proofreading software available?”

If you are reading this, you probably have a pretty good idea of the answer yourself. Having spotted publishing errors and typos in the media and online, even in well-established and respected publications, and doubtless keen to avoid such ignominy yourself, you are probably in the process of bringing to publication your own creation. You know that proofreading your own work is a surprisingly challenging task. You have probably already made good use of your word processors spell check tool, and you have studied that green wiggly line to find out why it’s there. So in terms of spelling and syntax, it’s pretty near perfect already.

However, if you’re honest with yourself, (and that’s why you are reading this page is it not?) true perfection can really only be gained with the help of a keen-eyed professional proofreader. The machine may bring accuracy, but it cannot lend the human nuance of voice, and subtlety of meaning.

From experience, when reading back your own work, you have come to realise that you see what you think you have written; similarly, you think you have written the words and images that are projected on the movie screen of your imagination – but actually they don’t make it to the written page. Another’s human eye will spot those omissions, and highlight them to you so that you can perfect your draft before publishing and revealing all to your readers.

That’s why we are here, offering to read through your draft. We bring that fresh eye, reading and being entertained by your story, enjoying the mental images you’ve painted, the character descriptions, the settings and story line you have woven. We will notice where perhaps a little more detail is needed to help the story hold together, or where some clues are needed as to the setting, or timeline, or context in the development of your story.

It’s a good idea for you to leave your near-finished draft for a day or two, let’s say to ‘mature’. Often, when you come back to it with your own fresh eye, you will spot these things yourself. But if time is of the essence, you have a deadline to meet or you just can’t wait to see the finished product, we can do the job for you in a fraction of the time.

As an author, you are naturally very protective of your story, and you may find it daunting to let someone else read it – especially a complete stranger! We understand that you have given a big part of yourself into the writing, in fact revealed yourself substantially to the reader. Writing gives other people a window into your mind, not something every writer is comfortable with!

We understand this and respect you, the author and your creation, it is precious and not to be messed about with. In proofreading a document, our aim is to help to make the manuscript the best it can possibly be, without changing or removing the ideas expressed within it, but to help make it consistent within itself. We will help turn complex or clumsy words into polished language, clearly and simply, or on occasion, turn ordinary prose into sophisticated, delightful language, appropriate to the genre of your writing.

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