Saturday, 31 May 2014

Editing editing editing - the nuts and bolts of this writing business

You write a book which you are rather pleased with, your agent likes, even your editor likes. But the process in some way is only just starting. It has to be handed to the more objective scrutiny of the copy editor. 

I don't know if she liked it or not but she's noticed that I've got the timeline wrong in Book 2 - again. It's my Achilles heel - I'm absolutely rubbish with numbers. The timeline goes from March 15 to April but the character back in Mar 15 calls the character in April 10. Ouch. This means moving WHOLE CHAPTERS and worse, means that all the other stuff in them isn't necessarily in the right place now. I remember thinking a writer's life must just be so creative, sitting at their desk and just crafting lovely stories and characters. Well, it is sometimes, but more often it's rewriting, editing, fussing over the placement of a comma or a plot point, trying to find the right detail of research to support your book, rewriting some more, cutting out great chunks of stuff you love, writing whole sections of the book you didn't envisage... It's a pleasure and a privilege to be doing this, but wow, it's a lot of work!  

Book 3 is in just that state, with a beginning I really like, an ending I think works very well - and basically a gaping whole of rejected chapters where the middle should be. I just carved twenty-two thousand words out of the draft and threw them on the bonfire. But the book is better for it. I just have to get A and B to the right place to connect up with the ending. No pressure then! I hope they do join up. 

Meanwhile we are trying to sell our big house but although people love it - they really do - they can't cope with the location. We live at the top of a VERY steep drive... But we hardly ever get unwanted callers. It is too steep and narrow for a lot of cars to be fair, but our elderly Toyota people carrier storms up it just fine. People are wimps.


  1. Good luck with it Rebecca - the rewriting, the filling in the big gap in the middle and the finding a buyer for your house! I've just seen a writing mentor for the first time and and daring to dream my novel can be made to work. At my stage of things, there's nothing like that pair of expert eyes to refocus the derailed writing process!

  2. Thank you CDW! Good luck with that writing mentor, I would love to know how your novel is coming on. You can always email if you want a second set of eyes. Reb x

  3. Good Luck Buddy with the writing mentor you ar every good at it i love it.