Editing Frustrations, Reviews

Having undertaken another major edit of Salby Damned, based on feedback received from people who actually read the book, I have found that what they have pointed out to be very valuable and am adjusting the original manuscript accordingly. While I have no aspirations to become a top selling, all bells and whistles author, I do want to do the job correctly and have a novel that won’t leave me thinking about it constantly. It has to be one of the most soul-destroying tasks to do, editing and I can see why so many choose to pay someone else to do it for them. I have every respect for those that do, and indeed for the good editors who take on the work. To my mind, there seems to be no medium by which editors work, each changing, chopping and adding with hints of their own style and that is the one thing that puts me off paying someone. Anyway………..for now, I’m editing myself and taking advice, complete with the idiots guide to grammar ;’)

I have just one thing to say where reviews are concerned, it isn’t grown-up to leave a review for a book you haven’t read, no matter how bad it may be. A review should be based on the STORY, CHARACTERS, PLOTS and ENJOYMENT that is has provided to the reader, if you take into account more specific things, like grammar, odd typo’s and paragraphing, you’re then verging into the realms of critiquing. For indie authors that I review, I base my reviews on the former qualities, the rest will come in time.

A friend of mine, Sallyann Phillips, very kindly gave me a sneak preview of her second book, as yet untitled. Now, I’m not going to give the game away in the slightest about this book, suffice to say that if you have read Angels Blood, you’re in for a real treat when the sequel is released. I’m reading it and rooted, taking time out to write this. We both self-edit our works, it’s not easy and often someone else reading your first attempt can prove to be invaluable in picking things up that you don’t see as the writer. In many respects, the initial “review” by J.A. Belfield was quite correct, even if only ever based on the first thirty pages……..something I would never do but each to their own.

My reaction to it at the time was misguided, for that I apologise however, my subsequent review of her first published work was based mainly on the advice she gave me with regards to mine, applying the same principles and points that she picked up on and having read it ALL THE WAY THROUGH. Perhaps not the best way to guide someone if them learning means that they then pick up on errors in one’s own work. Still, a distant memory and as one author friend once said “You can’t please everyone all of the time, no matter how brilliant a story”. Wise words. My list of TBR’S continues to expand, different genres from authors all over the world and, where possible, I have found it quite stimulating to try to chat to each author before I read their work, firing questions I have about writing in general, their preferences and traits which differ vastly between authors. Just as we all write in our own unique styles, we also read in unique styles. Understanding that element alone opens up a huge can of worms for what is right and wrong and emphasises the words of my author friend above.

The bottom line is this, you can do your best, you can tweak it, polish it and re-work it to please your biggest critic which should only ever be………………yourself.

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