How to save money on copyediting #7: Know what you’re saying


It may sound obvious, but to write your memoir, company history, business or ‘how to’ book, novel or short story, it helps to know what you’re saying.

I state this with a straight face, because you’d be surprised at the number of people who send us their brain dumps, believing that they’re ‘almost ready’ to publish. We’re very happy to work with authors to develop their ideas. In fact, story coaching is an ASTT specialty service.

But suggesting that the ideas need developing is tricky when the author presents the writing for copyediting, thus thinks they’ve already done most of the hard work. Still, honesty with compassion is ASTT’s policy so that’s what we do …

In our ‘how to save money on copyediting’ series, we’ve mostly focused narrowly on grammar and punctuation tips, but planning and organisation come first. This is where you test your assumptions, play with ideas and explore the viability of the story you’re creating. You’ll also start to understand the best way to convey this particular package of information (be it fiction, non-fiction or poetry), according to your message/s and the needs of your audience.

After this initial brain dump comes the first draft. To make the first draft, you collect and collate from different Word docs, notebook pages, scraps of paper and ‘what’s still in your head’ to form a more coherent story.

If you know that wrangling your ideas or pinning yourself down is a challenge, get in touch. There’s nothing we like better than wrangling other people’s ideas into shape!

So long as you’ve given your topic some thought, it’s relatively easy for a professional outsider to listen to your ideas, ask questions and challenge your assumptions to clarify your thinking. This saves loads of time – and therefore money – in the long run. (Including not taking the work to copyediting too early.)

Have an idea bubbling away? Get in contact for a free 20-minute consultation about how we can help you start to write it down.

May your words pour onto the page,