Editing! ~ A guest blog post by Sherry Gloag

There is plenty of advice out there for an aspiring author about editing your precious manuscript.  Most of it is good solid advice that will help you bring your work to another level of professionalism.  But… And there is a but…

Until I worked with an editor through to the final stages before publication, whether it be ebook or print book, I never quite appreciated the complexities of editing. Oh!  In theory I had it all there in my head, but in practice it never quite made it to the pages of my story.

Add to that the knowledge that every publisher, however big or small, has its own ‘house-style’.

I am a member of a terrific online writers group, and over the years there have been many discussions about grammar, particularly about punctuation. Contrary to popular belief this too varies from publisher to publisher.  As do the use, or non-use, or certain words and phrases. 

So where does that leave the aspiring writer when they are ready to send their finished story out into the big bad world?

Know this there are few authors who are not asked to edit what they considered a ‘perfect submission’.  An editor brings a new set of eyes and perception to your story.  She sees what you ‘think’ you have included.  She hears the rhythm and knows whether it in sync or not.  She finds the plot holes and time lapses you’ve included in your head while you tapped away on the keyboard, but never quite transmitted to the page.

My debut novel, The Brat released on the 1st of this month with The Wild Rose Press. And I can’t tell you how lucky I was to work with a terrific editor whose help taught me what real editing is all about.

Now when I edit my work, I have a better, clearer idea of what is expected of me. Does that mean I’ll submit an edit free story next time?  Highly unlikely!  But it does mean that I have learned to take my work that extra mile before I submit it. 
You can buy The Brat at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/sherry-gloag-m-862.html
AAlso at www.amazon.Com
My Blog is at http://sherrygloagtheheartofromance.blogspot.com/ 

Order/buy your copy HERE or at AMAZON
The Brat: Release date, ebook, 1st Oct 2010 from The Wild Rose Press
My Website :  My Blog :     Book Trailer :  Selenite Gifts :


8 thoughts on “Editing! ~ A guest blog post by Sherry Gloag

  1. Sherry,

    As an editor and a writer, I agree wholeheartedly. There is no such thing as an edit-free manuscript.

    Tip for the day: Use Find and Replace to find ‘nodd’ and replace it with itself. Word will tell you how many instances you have. Then use Find to go to each instance and ask yourself whether that particular instance of nodded or nodding furthers the plot or characterization, or whether it is just convenient.

    • LOL! Tell me about it! When I did a search for overused words I horrified myself with my discoveries. I also found, has this happened to anyone else? I suddenly start using a word and then overuse it for the next so-many chapters then a different word crops up with the same results. That was almost spooky, because on reflection the repetitive words mirrored my emotions at the time of writing.
      I’ll definately trie your tip of the day 🙂 Thanks.

  2. I hear you! I didn’t know just how much ediiting played a role in the final product. It isn’t until my last editor pointed out, “you don’t contract much” that I realized that I write as if I am sitll in college pounding out that Master Thesis. *shaking my head* I know now that a little bit of informal speech is good. Great article…

    • Nevea Lane, I think over here in the UK they call that precee (sp) I couldn’t do it them and can’t spell it now!
      Cutting out and back was a predominant fear of mine, but when I had to bite the bullet for my editor, I was astonished by how fluently I managed to cope with what had , ’till then, been a major stumbling block for me.

  3. Editing is an entirely different animal from writing and it’s almost impossible to edit your own work and do a credible job with it. You see what you think you wrote, and it takes a new pair of eyes to find the goofs and omits.

  4. Hi Sherry,
    Great blog, and you are so right about various publishers liking/disliking differen things. I don’t know of any author who has presented a perfect manuscript. Wish I did because I could ask for tips on how to do it.



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