When working with a writer my sole purpose is to help the writing become the best it can be. A writer can often be too close to their own work to be able to see its power or its potential. And because they know their writing inside out, it can be hard for them to gauge what the reader knows, or needs to know.
When editing fiction it’s my job to be the first reader then clearly articulate my reading experience so the writer can make informed choices about what to do next. It’s not about telling the writer what to do — it’s about posing questions, pointing out opportunities, reflecting. With technical writing I can be more interventionist but am still sensitive with my feedback and suggestions.
I have been freelancing since 2009, editing anything from short stories to epic page-turners, policy documents to information guides. I also bring three years’ experience working in corporate editing for local government, where I refined the art of untangling multi-authored documents — a challenge I really enjoy.
Lu Sexton’s editing is incredibly intelligent and sensitive to the message.’
Dinesh Senan, author of Inner Alignment
We were really impressed with Lu’s work! She took a document that was the product of a few people’s co-writing and did not have a executive summary or a punchy wrap up. Lu turned it in to a well bookended piece that flowed and took you through the story in a succinct and well structured way. Thanks again, Lu.
Helaine Stanely, 226 Strategy & Placemaking
Despite being the single highest cost of self-publishing so far, the copy edit will be the one expense I will never regret… after getting eight quotes and four samples from Australian and American editors, I chose Lu Sexton of A story to tell… to copyedit Shizzle, Inc and I’m blown away with the results.
To be honest, I had a lot of reservations about paying for editing… In the end it was probably the sample that did it. Lu didn’t just pick up grammatical errors and turns of phrase; she made a few clever suggestions for heightening the drama and comedy without losing my protagonist’s voice. I had the balls to ask if the rest of the manuscript would get a similar treatment and got a polite answer that yes, it would. And it did. I got back not just an improved manuscript, but also a lesson in writing, customised just for me.
The entire blog post of this excerpt was first published here.
Lu's Blog Posts
Copywriting: you want it done when?
on August 5, 2016
We sometimes get requests for last minute copywriting. It’s not that the client’s project is […]
How to get unstuck
on February 17, 2016
There are so many ways to get stuck: stuck on a word, stuck mid sentence, […]
After copy edit, also proofread?
on November 11, 2015
In her post How to Hire a Good Copy Editor, Ann outlines what you can […]
Tips for better proofreading
on July 9, 2015
I recently ran a one-day course on proofreading for RMIT. Preparing the material was an […]