Non-Fiction

 

Blue Monkeys - Akrotiri FrescoesWith non-fiction, the reader (or listener) is key. It’s all too easy for writers and speakers to get bogged down in what they know and understand. They miss the vital connections which an informed lay reader might need to understand their train of thought and its importance. Seeking preciseness and immersed in the language of their field, they descend into intelligent and insightful, yet impenetrable prose.

Since I am not a specialist in your specialist subject, I will probably not be able to critique your arguments (though I can tell you if there are steps missing in your reasoning). What I can do is make sure they are logically ordered, complete, appropriately contextualised, and elegantly conveyed. I expect an intelligent reader, who is not necessarily informed about the subject, to be able to read through an article or essay and come away understanding, at a minimum, the main argument and why it is important.

With non-fiction, it is vital, first of all, to understand what a writer intends to convey, and to whom. For this reason, before even reading the work requiring editing, I try to come to this understanding; through conversation, through reading your earlier writings, and by researching the venue or publication in which the document is to appear, and discover who will be reading it. Perhaps most importantly, especially for writing directed at policy-makers, I seek to understand how you wish readers to react.