Sunday, 27 March 2011

Not Only Sunsets!

This week I  not only sat and watched as the sun set behind the jagged volcanic mountains, creating a rich tapestry of colours across the sky and sea, but I saw the two poignant words on my manuscript, The End.

The rewrite of my latest book, titled, Sometimes It Happens... has been an eye opener, because for this book I have the wonderful Helen Hollick as my editor.

Like most writers who are not with a mainstream publisher, I know I must do or organise everything myself. Marketing, publishing etc, but one vital area that I could not do myself and that was to professionally edit my own manuscript.

Helen took me under her wing after reading my second novel, Satchfield Hall.
Having read my book, Helen then sent me a critique.
My confidence is pretty low when it comes to my writing, I chew my fingers to the bone if I know who is reading my book and worry myself silly!
So when I received Helen's critique in my email in-box, I left it unopened, had a cup of tea and ate several chocolate biscuits!
Then with a trembling finger, clicked on the open button of the email.
With my eyes half closed, I read everything Helen had written. In fact I read it several times over, my eyes wide open this time!
What Helen had written was very uplifting and positive about my book and my writing, but there was a but, and that but was loud and clear - I needed an editor.

Helen's commitments are many and so with her recommendation I went in search of a good editor. They were all very busy and could not look at my latest work in progress for some months.
At this stage, Helen decided, despite her own workload to take me under her wing.
I have not looked back.
She has made a world of difference to my writing and my approach to my writing, which I hope my readers will enjoy when my third book, Sometimes It Happens... is available.

Editing is not only essential for checking the grammar, spelling, commas are in the correct place etc, but more importantly that the story works and is written well.
A professional publishing editor will see your story from a fresh set of eyes, check your continuity, make sure your characters are believable, check you are writing in the correct tense.
Importantly, your editor will see all the things you do not and much more!


Debs Carr said...

Gorgeous pictures.

Congratulations on typing The End. Helen Hollick sounds amazingly helpful.

Pauline Barclay said...

Hello Debs, the pics I took the other night, the colours were stunning. Thanks for your kind words, Helen is amazaing. I am lucky. Talk soon. Hugs x

Helen said...

Oh heck, I suppose this means I have to get down to finishing editing those last few chapters of yours? *laugh*

Thank you Pauline for the accolade.... but you have the talent for being a good writer; you imagined the characters, the plot, etc.... what you got muddled was the technique of putting it all together in the right - and a readable - order, which is often the difficulty with new or novice writers (and experienced ones! I rely heavily on MY editor, Jo Field, to work magic with her red pen.

I think for most novice writers a famous quote by Eric Morcambe comes to mind:

you are writing all the right words, but not necessarily in the right order....

which is where your editor comes in.

Ok where are Pauline's last chapters.... (goes off to read and enjoy the charm of this story - knowing the main character, Doreen,is going to make me giggle...

Pauline Barclay said...

Hello always, thank you! Big hugs xx

Shirley Wells said...

Delighted to hear you've typed those magic words The End. Congratulations!

I couldn't agree more about the editing process. Every writer needs a damn good editor at her side. I can't wait to read the finished product!

Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing!

Pauline Barclay said...

Hi Shirley, as always thank you for all your wonderful encouragment and support.Will let you know once we have a release date...exciting! x