A man of many talents: Meet writer & editor Dave Nelsen

Dave Nelsen, smiling and wearing a button down, stands in front of a concrete wall

From improv comedy to mommy  blogging, Dragonfly’s Dave Nelsen maintains a truly impressive repertoire. Fortunately for us — and our clients — his talents also include top-notch editing and writing. Dave began his wordsmith career with a degree in journalism. After graduation, he honed his editing skills at a not-for-profit, where he edited departments and features and coordinated submissions for …

Obliterating typos, one step at a time

two-people-typing-at-computer

When you work with documents that will end up in a design file—or that go through multiple rounds of revisions—it can be all too easy for typos to slip into your text. Adopt these four tips to minimize errors’ chances of getting by you. Do a substantive edit first—then a copyedit. Any time content undergoes substantial revisions, be sure to follow …

(Grammar) rules: Meant to be broken?

question mark

In light of the kerfuffle over the AP’s hyphenate about-face, it’s clear that as editors and writers, we do become attached to our rules. But language is fluid—as is grammar, to an extent. Sometimes rules truly are meant to broken. When is a rule worth fighting for? In this previously published post, Dragonfly editor Molly Gamborg considers the differences between …

3 tips for writing instructional content

A person with long hair and glasses bites a pencil in frustration while looking at a laptop screen

When my children were in the second grade, one of their assignments was to prepare a “how-to” presentation. They were to pick a simple task: making a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, say, or folding a paper airplane. They then needed to assemble all the required ingredients or components, write out the process steps on note cards, and demonstrate the procedure to the …

5 ways to wrangle your writing tasks

Black manual typewriter with a blank piece of paper loaded in it

Writing is one of those things you either love or hate. But even when you love working with words, sooner or later we all run into the same wall. Whether the trigger is a blank page, a looming deadline, or any number of other issues that can bring on the dreaded writer’s block, once it hits, you must act. Here …

Always in style: Tools to help automate your style checks

A person works at a laptop with a cup of coffee beside them.

Being an editor is great, right? If we didn’t love the work we wouldn’t be writing/reading a blog about editing! But between us, certain parts of the job can be … how do I put this … tedious. I’m looking at you, terminology checks. Not to mention, if your work involves multiple clients, you likely find yourself on the business …

Thoughts on the past weekend’s events

Dayton's Oregon District

Several colleagues have written me this week about the shooting that happened in Dayton last weekend, offering your condolences. Thank you. It does hit home for me and for Dragonfly. For those of you who don’t know, I grew up in Dayton, as did my sister Lexy, who’s our designer. Our office is about 15 minutes from downtown Dayton. Several …

Fact-checking 101

The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking

We don’t do a lot of fact-checking per se here at Dragonfly. Only one of our clients specifically asks for the service. But in a sense, good copy editors are always fact-checking, whether they call it that or not. That’s because we take an objective — even skeptical — approach to the material we review. Factual inconsistencies make us flinch — until …

Writing for inclusion: “It does not mean what you think it means”

Poster of the movie "The Princess Bride"

My daughter is seven and her favorite move is The Princess Bride. We have to help her discern what’s real (or at least possible) and what’s ridiculous or exaggerated for effect. Rodents of Unusual Size – not real. Six-fingered men – extremely rare, but possible (the condition is called hexadactyly). Her most recent question was about the word blave. Billy …

From politics to parenthood: Meet writer & editor Nancy Brooks

A woman, Nancy Brooks, in a salmon-colored jacket is smiling in front of a wooden wall

Assuming Albert Einstein was right when he said “politics is more difficult than physics,” we might have a genius in our midst. Although writer/editor Nancy Brooks is able and willing to tackle just about any topic for Dragonfly, much of her expertise lies in politics. Nancy’s work in government began with her very first job. With a freshly minted degree …