E for Edit, Ellipsis, and Em-dash

angryedtorfdpE for Editor. And what makes editors so angry they want to throw their computers at the wall?

  • Manuscripts that are not formatted according to the publisher’s guidelines. Many editors will reject these out of hand.
  • Poor punctuation, poor grammar, too many typos. Your manuscript must be the best it can be.
  • Edits that come back corrected within days. When your editor sends back your edits, stop, think, work through the whole manuscript to implement the suggestions throughout. Don’t just do the marked up edits. Read the whole manuscript carefully again to see what else you can improve from the advice given.
  • If some overused words are highlighted, check to see how many more you can track by using your Find option.
  • Edits that are ignored or rejected with no reason given.
  • Ignoring or changing formatting the editor has put in place e.g. using tabs, double spacing. It’s not now necessary.

Do you know your Ellipsis from your Em–dash?

Of course you do.

The ellipsis goes . . . and allows the character’s thoughts to trail away.

The em-dash is the long dash that means something or someone has interrupted a character’s speech.

They’re appearing now as often in manuscripts as the dreaded exclamation mark used to. Please use them correctly and sparingly.

Too Many Books

No-one nowadays can afford months of editing time to shape a book that has potential ot to cosset an author who is averse to change. The nearer the book is to ready, the better a chance it has to sell.

Same goes for self-pubbers. Too many typos, too many inconsistencies and readers will never read another of your titles. There are too many free easy-access e-books in every genre online for anyone to persist in reading a badly-edited book.

Too many good books in the world  to waste time on a bad one.

What pet hates do you have about your writing experiences?

images again from FreeDigitalPhotos.net courtesy of gubgib (alphabet E) and iosphere for the angry man with broken pencil


8 thoughts on “E for Edit, Ellipsis, and Em-dash”

  1. (Catching up on my Es)
    I found that really useful. I haven’t really given thought to what I’ll get back from my editor yet, but I know from beta reading other’s works I get really irritated if they just make the changes without thinking about them. Who says I’m right?
    So it was useful to see I need to keep that in mind when my edits come back. Don’t just change blindly. Think about it and check the ms again.


  2. I use emdash on my blog occasionally, its handy to interject a quick side thought. I overuse ellipsis in comments (I usually don’t edit comments beyond a quick scan for typos) I do try to edit extra ellipsis from blog posts. My pet hate about my own writing style though when I’m working on something fictional, unblog related: I get into “the zone” typing faster and faster, and later when I proofread: I’ve spelled words how I pronounce them not how they spelled, lol. Evidently my internal monologue isn’t that different from my vocal one.

    @Get Lost in Lit

    1. Great comment. Must check out that fast writing/vocal connection. Good point. And enjoyed visiting your blog, too.
      Thanks for visiting here.

  3. My publisher has some formatting quirks that I have to pay attention to but I’ve been working with them for a while so I usually correct it before the editor gets it.

    1. Wish everyone was as conscientious 🙂
      That said, I’m lucky to work with so many very hard-working authors and have very few of these problems myself.
      I just need to rant quietly on occasion. lol

    1. When you see page after page of sentences cut off with an em-dash, you are apt to go off it when you’re editing hehehe 🙂
      Thanks for visiting and I’m enjoying the movie polls.

Comments are closed.