Frequently Asked Questions
Who are you?
Fresh Start Writing is owned and operated by a writer, editor, and coach with years of experience crafting and perfecting content for a variety of media covering a broad range of subject areas. Read the About page for more information.
My writing is great. Why do I need you?
That's a great question. Our writing is great, too. But it is very hard to effectively edit your own work; you are simply too close to the material to be able to give it the detailed attention it needs. We always have our own writing edited by someone else, and you should as well.
I've always been terrible with language. There's no hope for me.
First, that's not a question. But it's something we hear a lot.
Second, there is hope for you! One thing we are great at is finding the patterns in your "bad" writing, those pitfalls you most often succumb to or the rules of grammar you need to master. Often there are half a dozen tips or tricks we can teach you that will vastly improve your effectiveness as a writer. Our coaching service isn't really about making you a perfect writer. It's about making you aware of the things to look out for. You may never be a wordsmith, but we'll get you a lot closer.
What else can you do?
While we don’t do web design, we are experienced with optimizing websites for findability by search engines (also known as SEO, search engine optimization), and we are happy to speak to your web designer (or you) about things like the use of header tags, browser/advisory titles, alt tags, and keyword usage.
We are also an excellent source for testing website usability after launch. We understand how typical website users think and behave, and can give you feedback about how your site measures up once it is up and running.
Is there anything you can't do?
Oh, yes. We are not a graphic design firm or layout gurus. We are not programmers or web developers. We can help you find folks who do these things, though. And while it's not true that we can't write your school paper or project for you, we won't do that. But we will edit academic work, or use it as the basis for a coaching session.
We are also not particularly sharp dressers.
How much is this going to cost?
You can get an overview of our fees on the Pricing page. Beyond that, the cost of a project will vary based on a number of factors, including:
- How in depth the work is. We can strictly copy edit much faster than we can do more substantial content overhaul, reorganization, or in-depth line editing.
- How fast you need it done. If you’re on a tight deadline, we can probably accommodate you, but we will be putting other people’s projects on the back burner to do that, and so we will need to charge more.
- How many other people are involved in the process. If we are writing for a team and each member has input, we will be doing more revisions with more back-and-forth communication to the various stakeholders. These things take time, which will make the project more expensive.
What software do you use?
We prefer to edit using Microsoft Word. We are also happy to edit web content using your content management system of choice. If neither of these is an option, do not despair. We will find a way to make it work. We've edited PDFs, plain text files, and other documents that couldn't be managed using Word.
Serial comma: yes or no?
We are solidly in favor of the serial, or Oxford, comma (the one that comes before the "and" in a list of three or more items). We think more often than not it prevents confusion. However, we have written and edited copy for organizations that don't use it, and we can nimbly switch back and forth as you see fit.
How many spaces after a period?
Yeesh, were you raised in barn? One. Always just the one. Unlike the comma question, we've never had anyone specify that they need two spaces after periods, but if you find yourself wanting that, it's a quick find and replace to make it so.