The Editing Process, by Elizabeth Squire
The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘process’ as: a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end; and it defines ‘end’ to be: a termination of a state or situation. It all suggests a very structured approach in order to achieve a defined result—and I would really like to be able to tell you that I was that sophisticated in my own editing process!
I recently participated in a highly regarded diagnostic tool that analyses one’s preferred work preferences and represents it on a wheel. For most people who participate in this diagnostic, their three predominant work preferences are located adjacent to each other in the same quadrant of the wheel. I just happen to be one of those complicated individuals whose preferences are split across the wheel.
On one hand I like to take an analytical approach to work, with a need to ensure that attention to detail and accuracy is carefully applied. On the other hand, I like to be highly creative in my approach to work, exercising the freedom to innovate and apply new ideas as I go. And that just about explains my approach to editing.
My precise, analytical side means that each scene has been carefully plotted and I generally write ‘clean copy’, the first time around. By ‘clean copy’ I mean, I have adhered to and correctly applied all grammar conventions, and my facts have been carefully researched to ensure historical accuracy or plausibility.
Following completion of my final draft, my aim is to ensure all characters finish the story with the same names, hair colour, eye colour that they started with; that the plot evolves logically and has closure by the last page; that the relationship between the hero and heroine is believable and that every interaction between them propels their relationship forward.
Unfortunately, these third and fourth passes are not so simple. This should be the point where I read, read, and re-read. But this is where (like most writers, I suspect), I find it almost impossible to turn off my creative brain and apply any measure of distance in order to critique my work objectively. This is where I need to be careful of not being sucked into the vortex of read, read, and re-write. There is always that element that has me still reaching for a better word, a better turn of phrase, greater tension, deeper emotion…
It doesn’t matter how many times I revise a piece of work, there will always be a better way to write it, and unlike a mathematical equation, there will never really be a defined end. The end of the editing process becomes a deliberate choice whereby a writer must entrust their work to the readers, knowing that they have done the best they can—and that is the hardest part of any writing journey.
About the Book
Author: Elizabeth Squire
Genre: Historical Romance
Elizabeth Squire brings a fresh voice to historical romance in this tale of intrigue and passion.
CLOSER TO SIN
Liliane Desailly travels to Napoleonic France after receiving a plea for help from her French cousin. She learns she is the key to fulfilling her grandfather’s legacy, but to do so she must masquerade as a spy and courier secrets on behalf of the British Admiralty.
Sinclair Charlcroft is the British Admiralty’s last hope. Napoleon’s Grande Armée is poised to invade Britain, an English spy is missing and a traitor has infiltrated the Admiralty’s intelligence network.
Pursued by Napoleon’s agents, Liliane and Sinclair cannot reveal their true identities until they unlock the secrets of the legacy—and only then can they unlock the secrets in their hearts.
Elizabeth Squire’s love of writing romance couldn’t be further from the life she had carved out for herself. Raised in outback and rural Australia, Elizabeth was determined to live a life vibrant with passion, travel, adventure and discovery—other than the one she had already lived through the pages of the innumerable she read and loved. And so, turning her back on a life in the bush, she invested a lot of years chasing her dreams—she enjoyed a career as a commissioned in the Royal Australian Navy, and counts white-water rafting the Zambezi River, travelling by safari truck through Africa, and back-packing through Eastern Europe with her young family as just a few of her many adventures.
But amongst the adventure, the urge to write intensified as story lines and dialogue continued to materialise from the recesses of her mind. She finally accepted that the voices in her head were really characters enmeshed in the tumultuous Georgian and Regency periods, vying for life on paper.
After a nomadic lifestyle, Elizabeth has now settled into her own home and loves nothing better than bringing her passionate heroines and daring rakes to life. She lives with her own hero and one true love, two beautiful daughters and two delinquent miniature long-haired dachshunds. Closer to Sin is Elizabeth’s debut novel.
Escape Publishing: http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/9781760370367