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Editing Equals Edification

‘The End’. With a flourish and, at the very least, a sigh of relief, the manuscript is done!

Hah! Foolish deluded author.

I’m a member of Romance Writers of Australia, and one of our esteemed members, Anna Jacobs, who frequently tops ‘Most Borrowed Authors from UK Libraries’ lists, has long advised, “Put your writing away in a drawer for a year”. Why? Because then you can look at it with fresh eyes.

My YA Fantasy novel’s been hidden away for over two years. Our critique group worked on it with me, contributing useful advice and corrections. Published and/or prize-winning authors all, each has particular strengths. But now I see lots of shortcomings in my story. There’s work to be done, more than required in changing reader targeting to 10 to 12 year olds.

Then it will need to be professionally edited, an essential step in bringing a story to life. My historical romance, All the Corners of the World (116,000 words!) underwent structural edits and line edits. Besides a general tidying up, my editor pointed out a bad habit regarding phrasing that I needed to work on, and discovered a serious error of fact.

I’ve long been a fan of Agatha Raisin detective novels. Have read them all. Even enjoyed the altered television version, enough to admit that Ashley Jensen plays the part well (I’d always pictured Agatha as a Bolshie Julie Walters). But the latest book, Dead Ringer, didn’t ring any of my bells! Why? Because it meanders, two characters drive the same ancient model of car, characters previously not mentioned in a scene suddenly say something, and so on. Was any editing done?

So, you can write the best story in the world, but if it’s not properly edited, you’re going to lose me. Probably most readers. Let’s hear it for editors!

The Heart Has Its Reasons is available for ORDER by clicking this link



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