About Hazard Editing Services

Hazard Editing is reopening for one to two projects a month. We now charge $4 per 1k words for editing and $3 per 1k words for proofreading. Feel free to contact Lisa Hazard at lisacathazard (at) yahoo (dot) com. We offer a free five-page sample edit so you can try us out.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

And the Cat Was Happy...

Sometimes writers like to start sentences with "and" or "but." I covered "but" in another post, and much of the same applies to starting a sentence with "and."

The mama cat licked her kittens. And they were dirty.

The mama cat licked her kittens and they were dirty.

There's a difference. The first implies they were really dirty, in a way. The second combines the two sentences for one complete sentence.

Starting a sentence with "and" is stylistic. I advise writers not to do it too much or it doesn't have the same impact as it would if it were used occasionally.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


...s are done like this:

The kitten sniffed the other kitten's ear...something wasn't right in there.

No spaces.

Same with beginning a new sentence:

The tom cat paused...There was the scent of another male in the air.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Opinion of one editor: Adverbs can be okay

Most writers hear we should never use adverbs. The cat loudly meowed. The kitten crept slowly along the carpet.

Most editors will take these out. The cat meowed. The kitten crept along the carpet.

When should you use adverbs? Too many adverbs, in my opinion, clutter a reading experience. But look at the above sentences. In the first example, saying it was a loud meow makes a difference. In the second example, the word "crept" indicated that it was slow movement. Don't need the adverb.

My advice is to not depend on adverbs to emphasize actions. Your verb should do that job. Sometimes, you want a little emphasis, and when you use an adverb to do that, think it over and choose just the right one.

I would change the first example to a stronger verb. The cat howled. I would take "slowly" out of the second example.

A fine place to use an adverb is in action sequences. If your verb doesn't do the action justice, carefully pick an adverb.

The litter screamed while mama cat settled in gently to feed her babes.

The litter screamed while mama cat settled in to feed her babes.

Adding "gently" says something about how mama cat feels about her kittens.

Use adverbs sparingly and with some good thought.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Commas and Buts

Usually a "but" should be preceded by a comma:

Spooky had her kittens, but she wasn't finished her hunting career just yet.

Some people like to put a comma after "but" when "but" starts a sentence.

But, the kittens were lonely while she hunted.

I hear that's the correct way to do it.

However, not having a comma after "but" can make a sentence punchier.

But Spooky prowled the night anyway.

When I'm editing and a "but" begins a sentence, I let the author do it however they see fit. My job is to make it consistent throughout the text.

Some editing rules can be bent for stylistic purposes. If it works, it works.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


We made it through the storms and had no power for what felt like forever. Back to work now. I'm backed up until mid-June, and my co-editors can take on a couple projects a month as they work as freelancers and can work as their schedules allow.

I'm backed up from the power being out, so the projects I have contracted will take a little longer. Many thanks to the authors who have all been understanding and helpful.

I also have four new kittens to attend to, born on my birthday when the power was out. Spooky is a great mother cat.

I think I contacted everyone I'm working with, but if I missed someone, feel free to write and ask the status of your book.