Tag Archives: editing

The draft is dead, long live the draft.

I think it would be a fair assumption that most writers feel something similar to me when the 1st draft of a new story is finished.

Relieved. Nervous. Knackered. At a bit of a loose end.

I started the final chapter in The Emperor Initiative series – Tiberius Crowned – during a self-imposed NaNoWriMo challenge and wrote 55,000 words in a 30-day period starting mid-March. And it’s taken from mid-April until now to finish it off. It turned into a bit of a slog but Saturday (3nd May) saw it finished. It felt good to have it finally down in black & white, waiting for the real work of editing and rewriting to happen.

However, I was left with the age-old dilemma of what to do next. I’m itching to start work on a WW1 thriller that I’ve been mulling over for a few weeks now – but to tell the truth I’ve already been making notes and jotting ideas down. It’ll mark a departure for me from straight YA adventures to a full-blown adult thriller and I know it’ll be a whole different ball-game. But fun, I think.

I knew what I needed to concentrate on first though – the next edit of my 1920’s-set YA supernatural adventure Oliver Drummond and the Four Horsemen. I originally wrote it as an adult piece but realised that wasn’t working, so re-jigged it with a fifteen year old as the protagonist. It’s still far too wordy and needs heavy trimming. Okay, maybe full on surgery. But has, I think, great potential. The edit started yesterday and the word drop has already proven substantial.

Does it hurt other writers cutting good writing but knowing it just doesn’t fit the bill so has to go? Hope so.

I’m looking to publish Oliver Drummond and the Four Horsemen mid-to-late summer, so will post updates as they happen.



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The pill has been swallowed

For many long years I’ve resisted the need to get my work professionally edited – not through the thought that I didn’t need it but more of the case that a) it was expensive, and b) I knew it would be a bitter pill to swallow. However, the pill has been swallowed.

I first met Cressida Downing – the Book Analyst – at the Writers’ & Artists’ conference last November in London and told myself that I’d give her one of my novels to work on. It just took several months before that happened. I sent her my finished copy of Tiberius Found at the start of May and received her annotated version back a few days ago.

What she had changed made perfect sense and some basic issues she raised I’m amending in my other soon-to-be-published work. It wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought it would be and a process I will certainly follow in the future. Cressida is incredibly busy so it may be with a different Editor but I’m convinced that it’s something we writers need to do.

So pick your own cliche: bite the bullet, swallow the pill, take the leap, and hire an Editor to go through your work.

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