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Showing posts from January, 2015

That's What Editors Are For

That’s What Editors Are For By Jennifer L. Carson

Jennifer was kind enough to do me an illuminating guest blog, opening the windows on what it means to be an editor. Her fantastic blog can be found at Really well worth a look. 

I put together a bike for my brother’s kid this Christmas.Turns out, I’m pretty handy with a wrench.Thought I might try building a car next.What do you think? Should I go for it?
What you are thinking right now is a little glimpse into my head when I tell people I’m an editor and writer, and they say to me, “Oh, yeah, I’ve been thinking about writing a book.It’s about XXX. What do you think? Should I go for it?”I’m torn between trying not to smile too hard or being a little insulted.I usually land on amused.
Someone once asked me how I do what I do after I helped that person fix a pretty big hole in their novel.I laughed and said, “Shell out thirty grand for a degree in creative writing, then pony up more for a certification program in ed…

A talent-drain?

I’m not a big one for controversary, but in my other, non-writing life, I spend a lot of time discussing business models, sustainability and how to bring on new, innovative talent. I argue, backed up by theorists by the handful, that ensuring such things are done is key to maintaining industries.
Which made me want to talk about the reality of being a writer at my stage of development.
Firstly, what is my stage? I have an agent. I have a publisher for an upcoming trilogy. I have quite a bit of short stuff written and published. I have finished six books and trunked one, which isn’t a bad statistic. I have another underway when I get the odd week or two free to think about it. I have a nice following on my blog, some people waiting to buy my book when it comes out (thank you), some people prepared to review it for me (and another thank you), some retailer support (and what I say three times is true – thank you!) and my ever-supportive, cheer-leading family. I’m one of the lucky ones…


In the summer of 2011 I Made a Decision. I’d write the darned book I’d been thinking about for years, and get it published. After all, I had three months clear from work, and I’d studied English to A level so I knew how to write. 
I’ll wait a minute for you all to stop laughing… 
Anyway, I finished The Book in those three months. All 160,000 words of it. And I sent it out to some lucky, lucky agents. I got form responses, no responses, and one scribbled ‘No thanks’ on the front page of the manuscript. At which point I decided to get over my fear of people reading what I’d written (yes, that’s right, it went out un-betaed…) and asked a writing friend to have a look. He was gentle, and kind, and put up with 30,000 words of dross before suggesting I learn how to write. At which point, I joined a forum and discovered there was a lot to learn. 
A year later, I had the manuscript up to some sort of shape, and most of the …