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Mission Creep: Editing-->Writing

Scope creep is inevitable. I've accepted that, along with the fact that "final copy" rarely is.

This week I had a new situation come up. I was asked to proofread an article being submitted for a newsletter. I've written *and* edited articles for this particular newsletter before, so I know what tone and length they're looking for. The article given to me was horribly written, too long, and trying to accomplish too many things in one go.

It was accompanied by the author's breezy assurance that it was final and shouldn't take any longer than half an hour to proof. I have *not* edited for this person previously, btw, so I simply said I'd contact her if I thought it would take longer. That half an hour ended up being used to do a quick proofread of some of it (clearly identified), and I outlined for her what had been done and why I felt it really needed more substantial editing/rewriting. I praised the solid factual content, and defined how it was suitable for two articles: one leading, and the other a more in-depth background piece.

The author agreed, and I'm quite pleased with the two resulting articles I created. In 3.5 hours, which she's okay with (not thrilled, but loves the results, so okay). I'm pleased enough that I'd like to put them in my portfolio. My dilemma is this: how do I approach the author to ask/inform her? Permission to use it in my portfolio isn't the sticky part - it's putting it in the WRITING samples, as opposed to editing samples - that I'm angsting over.

This was published under her byline, raising the ghostwriting question...but mostly I just feel very very awkward about how to politely address having crossed the line between editing and rewriting.

Has anyone else experienced this? Any suggestions?

This is cross-posted to copy_editors and cranky_editors as well.