Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Writers' Bane - The Dreaded "E" Word

Yes, I'm talking about editing.  Not just because I'm presently editing my Work-In-Progress, but because it's so important.  Sadly, many writers feel this is something they can skip over, but it is a necessary evil and an integral part of writing.

So there you are, with your heroine riding off into the sunset having captured her heart's secret desire, or the valiant knight Hetherral has slain the evil Ang'krokon, or otherwise generally inconvenienced him (assuming you want a sequel).  The final words THE END are there for all to see and your work as writer is done.

Er, actually no.

No matter whether you are sending this to a mainstream publisher or agent, or even if you are going to publish it yourself, this is far from the end of the writing process.  We all fail to see the wood for the trees and much that is wrong slips by unnoticed.

It is time to edit.  You're looking for plot holes (anybody know what happened to Maximus's dog in Gladiator?), characters' hair or eyes changing colour (or even wandering away to impossible places in the case of eyes), clumsily constructed sentences, poor description, overused words, cliches...

Even if you have a copy editor and/or proofreader (different things, but I'll let that pass for now), s/he will not thank you for sending a manuscript that has not already been edited to some degree by the author.  The more mistakes in your manuscript, the harder it will be for your editor to find plotting errors, which is her job.  It means more will slip past unnoticed, until readers pick up your book.

As a collective, readers will find ALL your mistakes and hang you out to dry for them.  Nobody minds the odd spelling mistake here and there, but everybody finds books littered with them tiresome.  Used the same word twice in a paragraph?  Fine if it only happens now and then, but soon readers start looking for that overused word.  They will let you know how many times you've used it, too.

I call editing "Writers' Bane" and so it is.  It is laborious work and every scriber hates having to do it, because it removes him from what he would rather be doing: which is the creative side of writing.  Sadly, it must be done, and should be done.

Now some of you might be thinking that I mean writers should edit their own work *instead of using a copy editor/proofreader/beta readers*  Not a bit of it.  Self-editing is a necessary evil before you send your beloved manuscript to the copy editor.  Get it as polished as you possibly can before sending it off.  Your copy editor will thank you for doing so.

Most importantly, so will your readers.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Two Short Walks

Just to let you know that I've posted about today's walks across at my other blog, Nick's Wicked Walks

One on the Great Orme:



And the other above Betws-y-Coed:





Sunday, 7 October 2012