A sign in a real restaurant reads:
OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK AND WEEKENDS
...and in a cemetery:
PERSONS ARE PROHIBITED FROM PICKING FLOWERS FROM ANY BUT THEIR OWN GRAVES
Every author wants to write a book he or she can be proud of—or should that be, “a book of which he or she can be proud?” Which is correct? Does ending a sentence with a preposition make any difference?
Whether it's a sign, your resume, or a full-length novel, as in the examples above, the words needed to convey the intended message may all be there, but is that enough? Those sign writers obviously thought it was! What they wrote probably sounded okay at the time, but is "okay" good enough? If the words you've written are open to silly interpretations or the message just becomes obscure, and that happens throughout your work, what impression do readers get of you and your writing? If it's a book, what happens to your readership and sales? If it's a resume, will you get an interview?
Editors are trained and experienced at finding such trouble spots and fixing them, or at least drawing them to your attention... before you embarrass yourself!
Whether a sentence ends in a preposition or not, of course, is covered by the rules of English grammar. “But,” you might say, “my readers don’t know their grammar from their Grandma. They won’t care… and it sounds better my way.”
Yes, all that may be true, but you still need an editor; someone who knows the rules but also knows about smooth flowing copy, syntax, consistency of verb tense, voice, and through it all, how to clearly retain the meaning that you intended. He knows the rules that can be bent or broken in favour of, perhaps, a clearer message, or for consistency of style, and he knows the rules that simply should never be broken. That's his job!
Writing the right words right means giving all the elements involved their due, from grammar and vocabulary to dialogue and diction. Successful writers do not rush the process to publishing. The best writers have editors who have come to know their particular writing style and have honed their own ability to improve it without completely taking it over from the author.
And “good editors,” by the way, are not generally the so-called quick editors you find online nowadays. At best, quick editors are quick, which means they do not take the time to know your writing style and the bigger, more substantive issues that may come into play. At worst, they are about as good as your spellchecker.
If your work is a major piece, like a book, a lot of decisions have to be made along the way between the initial draft and its final publishing. Editing is the first priority of Final Copy Editorial Services but we may also be able to offer some suggestions that can help with some of those other decision points on your journey.
The English language can be funny with different interpretations of lots of common words and phrases. Check this page out for a chuckle.
We Canadians generally follow British spellings but, alas, not always. The Spelling page reveals some of the real and the humorous Canada-US-UK differences. Whichever you use, be consistent. Use one or the other but don’t mix them up. Best to hire an editor who knows them all!
Editors abound, so choosing the right one can be a challenge. The right choice can make all the difference between getting published and not. Get hints on the Which Editor page.
Different levels of editing are available. Know which you need: copy editing, substantive editing, proofreading, rewriting? Click Editing Levels to help you decide before you hire an editor to do something you really don’t need.
Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy using the Marketing page! Remember, bookstores don't sell books, authors do!
Check out every page on the Site Navigation bar above. You will find much that will be helpful... and if not directly helpful, then at least interesting.
“The best cosmetic in the world is an active mind that is always finding something new.”
Mary Meek Atkeson