Managing long documents effectively

When commissioned to proofread magazines, newsletters, reports, manuals and web sites before they are sent to print or published on the internet, often we find major inconsistencies throughout the document, which require considerable rewriting or editing. Sometimes there isn’t enough time to do this and the document is produced with only the worst errors and typos corrected.

Anyone producing a long document can avoid this by assuming the role of editor and managing production from start to finish. By using style guides for both the visual and written content, you can ensure consistency through contributions from many writers, illustrators and designers. 

And because you’re monitoring progress all the time, you won’t be faced by the need to make impossible changes just before going to print or publication. 

It’ll save you time, money and hassle, and also result in a better publication.

Download our free prompt sheet on managing long documents effectively or if you want someone to edit your long document for you, call us on 0845 200 7830 or email us.

O is for original. Content is satisfaction

While there are considerable arguments for recycling natural resources where viable, I’m not so keen when this is applied to writing. Too much of the content of web sites, newspapers and magazines is recycled.

How much value to visitors is there from a bought-in or free newsfeed on a web site? If I am looking for detailed information on a specific topic or am shopping for a particular item, I don’t want to be distracted by international news stories. If I want news, I get it from a news site. In fact, I usually ignore much of the rubbish at the periphery of web pages and when I do notice it I wonder why it is there before moving on.

If sites add this type of content to earn money from affiliate schemes and other paid incentives, it’s understandable why they do it, although it still doesn’t enrich the visitor experience.

As a writer, I’m biased: I want to see original content every time. But even I realise that I can’t write it all and I don’t want to. On many occasions, I’ve read about the ‘democracy’ created by the internet and this is one instance where there’s an opportunity for all web site owners, whether professional writers or not, to make their own voices heard.

So let’s cut the recycling and see more original content. I’m sure it will satisfy a lot more people.

Robert Zarywacz

Variety is the spice of life . . .

. . . and it certainly keeps us on our toes.

Recently, we have been commissioned to write a wide range of material from a short film script for an estate agency to magazines, radio talks and press releases.

On a personal note, I have been asked to write some comedy sketches for a theatrical review show.

At least it keeps our brains ticking over.

Robert Zarywacz

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