Tag Archives: Editing

The Journey Begins

Following several rides on The Giant Drop, I took a rather giddy step back. It felt as though the manuscripts I’d submitted were starting to turn on me. ‘Oh, you think we’re so good. You think you’ll be turning publishers away with all the attention we’ll bring. You think your books will be up in literary lights… think again! We’re nothing, but wish-wash! You’ll never have your name on a book if we’re all you have to offer!’

Ah, the old seed of self-doubt, angrily sprouting away. Wondrous, isn’t it?!

I needed to view the bigger picture. As difficult as it was, I decided to put those pesky manuscripts aside and start something fresh. My morale yearned for it. In early 2014, I created a character; a curious, young boy on a quest to problem-solve, using his active imagination. I had hopes of turning his adventures into a picture book series. I drafted the first story and within a few months of daily rewrites and edits, he was ready. I knew it this time. This little guy was not going turn on me!

I submitted my manuscript to Kids’ Book Review for assessment and was delighted with the feedback. My idea was unique, entertaining and picture-book-appropriate. The one thing letting it down was that I had written the story in rhyme and the meter was inconsistent in most parts. The irony of a musician failing to write rhythmically, but I later realised my struggle may be because there’s no musical accompaniment in a book! No instrumentation to fill gaps and complete phrases.

Although there were many positives to my creation, the manuscript still needed work.

A highly experienced and professional author and editor, from the KBR team, saw promise in the story idea and my approach to improving it, and offered her services to work with me. How grateful I was, to have her knowledge and expertise helping my story (and me as a writer)! I’m thankful every day, for this experience.

Seeing my story take much better shape, I decided there were to be no ‘giant drops’ with this one. I knew it shone and my editor agreed. I showed the complete manuscript to fellow creatives and they also agreed. All signs were pointing the same way, urging me to transform this story to book. Following thorough research, I decided to self-publish. A 100% guarantee that my work would see the light of day and 100% creative control over its publication. I like having control. Some say, I need it. I’m relieved and thankful that I followed those signs because it was the beginning of a long and wonderfully rewarding (and challenging!) journey.

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Catch you next month for the next leg. 🙂

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Filed under Author Business, Book News, Publishing Tips, Renee Price

You have the right to see your words in print! Step Seven

6. Edit

There is no way around this. By now, you have completely fallen in love with what you have created. (I was so tempted to write, ‘as you would a child’ and you can’t see the blemishes – but I don’t really want the possible feedback about psychology 101!)

Every time a family member or dearest friend reads it, they will look through rose-coloured glasses and tell you how fabulous you are and how clever you are proving to be! They are right.

You have, of course, followed some conventions of writing, haven’t you? You have already checked the punctuation, spelling and grammar is appropriate. The page layout is pertinent and you are lulling your reader into a state of comfort by allowing recognition of something familiar. ‘Ah, this indeed is a children’s picture book!’

Take a breath. Now, think… Without this emotional attachment, possibly (actually, it is highly likely) you may have been given some feedback of use? A word singled out that may strike a discordant note in your otherwise mellifluous manuscript? A query raised about a slight lack of credibility via the actions or intent of your main character? Questions raised rather than answered in response to your choice of location and time frame for an event? Has every single word earned its place? Does the language sound fluid and melodic? Does it make you feel like crying when you read it?

Outsource the editing and don’t spare any expense. It really is a black and white moment with no shades of grey! Editing is possibly the single identifier of work of quality. Lack of editing is symbolic of irreverence for your reader – they deserve the very best having invested their time and money into your work!

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Have fun!

 

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Filed under Emma Mactaggart, Writing Tips