Saturday, 23 November 2013

My editor is ace

I'm working on editing at the moment. It may not sound it, but it's actually pretty exciting, because it means that I'm on the home stretch.

The work in question is the latest in the strange adventures of Neville Lansdowne. Recall that he fell off the world in Doodling and he pushed the world out of shape in Scribbling. Now, in this latest novella titled Scrawling, Neville is off on a whole new adventure with a bunch of strange new companions. Stay tuned to find out more soon.

In the meantime, I'm working on fine-tuning the manuscript into shape. The best possible shape. And for this I have to give a big thank you to my wonderful editor, Cathy.

She's been really amazing when it comes to helping me put the finishing touches to my work. It's really interesting how I can read something repeatedly and think it's clean and tight and just right, but once she's gone through it, she can point out all these spots where things are actually not so tight or clear, or could be worded better. Not to mention those pesky little typos I never seem to catch.

I really feel that she's made my a better writer. She's helped me to identify the common errors that I make, and be more prepared for them. She's alerted me to the words that I tend to overuse and overuse and overuse, helping me to be more varied in my use of words. She's pushed me to find better and clearer ways to express myself. Hopefully the results will be plain to see once Scrawling is released (either later this year or early next).

So I'd like to end this post with a big thanks to Cathy for the work she's put in to help me with my writing. As an editor, she's really ace!


  1. My wife is my editor. I’m lucky to have an editor for a wife. Most people have to pay a stranger. I still get friends to proofread the thing but Carrie does the final run-through. I am, however, a big believer in self-editing: my name on the cover, my responsibility. I think too many authors treat an editor like a collaborator. They shouldn’t be. Everyone needs one because none of us are perfect but basically we should leave them with next to nothing to do. I spent seven months editing my last book. I started on page one and read through to the end and every time I stumbled on a word or a phrase I fixed it and once I got to the end I started again and every time I found new glitches but after I’d been through it—I think it was about seventeen times in total—I then passed it on to Carrie who did her fixes but I still read it through one more time after she’d finished it before it got sent off to the printer and then I read it through once the proof came back. And I was pleased with the results. No editor could afford to spend that amount of time on one book or to put it another way no author could afford to pay an editor to spend that much time on one book. Some people might call it overkill. Perhaps it is but my first novel went out with about a dozen typos in it because I was cocky and I swore that’d never happen again. And the irony there is that was the one book I paid an editor to look at and Carrie still had to clean up after her.

    1. Hi Jim. I do a heap of self editing on my books as well. But after a while, the words begin to swim in front of me and I need someone else to make some sense of them.