Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Review of Be Your Own Editor by Alex Binkley

Sigrid Macdonald has done aspiring and published writers alike a big favor by publishing Be Your Own Editor. It’s a highly readable guide to turning a mass of words into a publishable essay, short story, magazine article or book. She provides handy advice on fixing aggravating spelling and grammar mistakes that mar the best arguments and liveliest prose. Anyone struggling to finish an assignment, article or chapter will find useful tips for overcoming everything from the dreaded writer’s block to insipid language.

Macdonald, an editor and author, writes in a straightforward style about subjects that too often are rendered in stultifying academicism. She draws on her experiences to provide good examples about navigating the fine points of grammar and spelling. She has organized the book into chapters that cover pertinent topics such as what to do when the first draft is finished and polishing the prose for submission. In between is excellent advice on punctuation, consistency and how to get the most from the ubiquitous spell checker. And a few chuckles about the foibles of writers and editors along the way.

Alex Binkley is a freelance journalist and writer, and 35-year member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Ottawa. He also writes for trade publications and does a weekly column for True North Perspectives.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

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