My first venture into volunteer proofreading has been very rewarding. It’s been great to see new writers coming up whose careers I can follow; I’m getting a great list of new and forthcoming works to read. And I’ve been especially happy to see a lot of original takes on fantasy and science fiction themes. No tired reworkings of overdone themes; naturally I expected better from this crowd and I haven’t been disappointed. Now, having finally caught up with the queue of manuscripts awaiting proofreading, I’m ready to take on some more submissions.
I’m formalizing my system for noting editing changes. I don’t like to change the original text, both because that can be confusing and because I really don’t want to stomp on anybody’s personal writing style. Rather than directly editing the text, I prefer to list suggested changes which you can implement or ignore as you wish. I generally work in Word, using the Review tab. What I send back to you will be the original text plus a list of suggested changes that will appear as comments in Review>Show Comments. If you don’t use Word, let’s discuss what editing format/system would work for your software and I’ll see what I can do.
Writers: if we’ve worked together before, just let me know that you have something ready for proofreading. If I haven’t worked with you before, please begin by sending me a ten-page sample of your manuscript so that I can determine whether you’d benefit from the level of editing that I’m willing to do voluntarily. That would amount to light copyediting in addition to proofreading. I’m fine with suggesting a comma be inserted, moved or deleted to conform to standard usage; I’m not too happy if I have to completely rewrite the questionable sentence. If every page contains sentences or near-sentences that need to be rewritten, well, that’s more work than I’m volunteering for. (Send to: margaret ball 7 at gmail dot com, spaces removed, at and dot replaced by symbols.)