I’m hosting a guest post today by David Carter, author of “The Inconvenient Unborn”, a family drama/politcal thriller. David talks about editing process with us today.
I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to get your work properly edited before the book is put out into the wider world.
Like many authors, when I finished my first books, I desperately wanted to see them in print and on sale, and made the beginner’s error of not having them sufficiently edited. And never believe that it is something that you can do all by yourself. You can’t! Fresh eyes and a fresh brain are always required. I know that can be expensive, but you can always try and network with other authors, and arrange some kind of reciprocal deal.
So if you are a budding writer please don’t repeat my mistakes. Get your work thoroughly edited before you think of publishing. It’s better to show patience and get things as right as possible.
As for my own current editing process, firstly I read the whole thing out loud. Yep, it gets me funny looks sometimes, but by reading aloud you will be amazed how different the story reads, and how clunky and even downright ugly certain passages sound, errors that never show up in a silent skim read.
Secondly, when I have done that, I put the whole thing away and forget about it, and the longer you are able to set it to one side, the better it will be, and the more changes you will want to make when you start reading again.
One of my books, “The Life and Loves of Gringo Greene”, I actually set aside for ten years, or to be more exact, it slept underneath my bed for that time. One day I took it out again, read a little, changed a lot, showed it to a couple of lady friends, and they all said the same thing: “Get it published”, which eventually I did.
Time is a great reviser, and a great editor too, and it comes back to that patience thing. The more you have, the better the resulting work will be.
Thirdly, in my revision and editing schedule, I have three writers who I cooperate closely with. In short, I edit theirs, and they edit mine, and this works really well. Strangely they often come up with different corrections and suggestions, and that’s cool, for the more people who look at it, and edit, the better the resulting book becomes.
That is not to say that everything ends up perfect, because it doesn’t. Books rarely are. So don’t beat yourself up when someone points out an error in your work. It happens, and it can happen to anyone.
Recently, I read a book published by one of the big four publishers, and on one page alone I found no less than eight errors – and yes, I often remain in editing mode, reading aloud, even with other people’s stuff. It’s just a habit I have fallen into, and you might be surprised to learn that I rarely read anything that is perfect. I repeat, errors are made by all publishing organisations, from the smallest to the gigantic. It happens to us all. If you know a writer who says they have never made a mistake, they are telling fibs.
And all writers get bad reviews too sometimes. That comes with the territory, so develop a thick skin, never get involved with recriminations and arguments. Shrug your shoulders and move on. Write something better is a good response. The whole subject of bad reviews is another story, for another day.
About the Book
Author: David Carter
Genre: Family Drama / Political Thriller
England in the near future –
Though you may not like what you see.
The Cazenoves and the Wilsons don’t get along, leastways the parents don’t – the teenage kids adore each other, but when the oldest Wilson girl falls pregnant, sparks fly.
Donald Cazenove just happens to be Fred Wilson’s boss, but Fred isn’t without influence himself, being the senior shop steward, and the business is struggling anyway, and a strike could play havoc with Donald’s figures.
“The Inconvenient Unborn” is set in England in the near future where after years of austerity, a left wing Labour Party has been returned to power with a huge majority, and they now intend to change Britain forever. They have a mandate. They have conviction. They have momentum.
And then there’s a state visit to Britain by the most powerful man on the planet, Yuri Premakov, the Russian President, and his precocious and very beautiful film star wife, Tamara, bringing gifts of gas and oil and energy, at a price, and he’s scheduled to visit Lymington on the south coast, where most of this book is set.
So who wins out? The Cazenoves or the Wilsons, and what exactly are Yuri Premakov and his vast entourage up to in Britain?
“The Inconvenient Unborn” will take you on a journey you can barely imagine.
I have been writing for longer than I care to remember. Even as a ten year old child I would design my own newspaper and fill it with family news, much to my mother’s amusement when she once found a copy containing a story that she didn’t fully approve of!
My writing started seriously when I was in business and I was approached to write a column, and that developed into writing columns for newspapers and magazines in many fields, including computing, commodities, farming, property, sport, philately, business and small business, many of which I have actually been paid good money for, and that always brings a nice feeling that never goes away.
My syndicated online articles have now been read by over 300,000 people across the globe and show no sign of slowing down.
It was a fairly small step after that to writing books and I have now written more than a dozen, both fiction and non fiction, and I try to write and complete at least one full length book every year.
Like most writers and aspiring writers I have many more in the pipeline, both part finished, abandoned, or in an unedited state, and finding the time to complete them is always the big enemy there.
Ideally, I would like to find a literary agent who could assist me in taking my writing to the next level, so if you are out there and you like what you see and read then do please get in touch.
Besides writing I sell books for a living and currently have more than 10,000 titles in the house and please don’t ask me where they all are because the simple answer is that they are pretty much everywhere!
I am currently working on a new Inspector Walter Darriteau novel and after that I may go back to writing a sequel to Gringo Greene, though ordinarily I prefer to write something completely fresh, rather than revisiting old ground.
It always amazes me that someone like Lee Child can write book after book featuring the same character and similar adventures, though all best wishes to him for he has been incredibly successful.