Tag Archives: book

How Not To Piss Off An Editor – Part 2

editingHere is another in my infrequent series (here’s the first one if you want to see it) of how you can help yourself when it comes to not annoying your editor.  These tips are not any magic wand, but if you do follow this advice you are much more likely to form a good connection with your editor.

Read

Read your own work.  Now I’m the first to admit that this has problems because you will end up reading what you think is there rather than what actually is there, but this is hugely important.  Especially when it comes to dialogue.  If you want to know does your dialogue flow – read it aloud, say it yourself.  If you can’t stand the sound of your own voice, then either get someone else to read it to you or get a PDF reader that can.  I use Adobe (the free download – I can’t afford the full version), it has a built in reader.  It’s monotonous tone to listen to, and you have to figure out the tricks to get it to work properly (no curly apostrophes or speech marks) but it sure makes your own mistakes jump out at you.

Spellcheck

Run a spellcheck.  I received a manuscript with five spelling mistakes in four lines a few weeks ago.  It wasn’t a great piece of writing to begin with, but when I get words like dam spelt damn, I realise that the author hasn’t just failed to check their own work, they’ve failed to show any respect for the reader – or the editor and don’t forget in this case they were paying for my services.  But here is the thing that spell check won’t always tell you – you might spell the word right, but it could be the wrong word, homophones are a nightmare for this.  Also, for example, I often see a lot of confusion over there and their or where and were.  These are irritating typos, everyone does them as they type, but they can be found.  If the grammar check on the word processing package you use isn’t up to much, try Grammarly.  I find that this particular grammar-nazi can be a bit of a pain when it comes to colloquialisms and modern usage, but it picks up the little things that the author’s eye will miss.

Consistency – Names

In the last part of this, I rattled on about formatting consistency.  If you follow this blog you’ll also have seen me talking about names.  One of the things I mention there is to not be afraid of changing names.  In my latest WIP, I had to change the names of five different characters – one character got changed twice.  The reason for that was that all the names were starting with either the same letter or containing the same sounds.  So you see I do understand why an author would change a character’s name which is one possibility for why sometimes as an editor I get an odd name jumping out and sitting there wondering who on earth this character is only to realised that it’s a Rose by some other name that didn’t smell so sweet.  The worst I ever had was one scene containing one boy and one girl and seven names.  Ugh!

As I say, no magic wand, but avoid what pitfalls you can then the editor can concentrate on the import parts of helping make the work better.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

New Year Off To A New Start

Well January went unexpectedly well.

On the 5th I got a letter from a publisher asking to see the full manuscript of one of my crime novels, Dead Happy, book one of the Murder Tydfil series, so fingers cross for that, I should hear something by the end of this month (February 2015).

Then on the 17th, I got an email from Xchlyer publishing, telling me that one of my short stories has been accepted into an anthology to be published in May.  This is a steampunk piece, the first steampunk piece I have ever written, and I’m dead proud of it, thoroughly enjoyed writing it.  When I sent it off, I was rather hopeful that it would be accepted. Mind you, who’s not hopeful when making a submission?  But there again, I had passed it under the eyes of several friends, so I’d had a fair bit of reader feedback before I submitted and knocked the worst of the rough edges off.  Have been working with the editors to polish the story, so fingers crossed it’ll be as perfect as a story can be when printed.

On the 16th I’d had a quiet text chat with the guy I do the freelance editing for, about one of the websites he writes for, asked for an intro, got it and on the 18th agreed some submissions with the guy who runs the site.  I made my first submission on the 19th and since then I’ve had two articles published:

Both of these and future articles will be available on www.warpedfactor.com, a site for the geeks amongst us. I have a further three articles accepted for publication in February.

It’s all unpaid, but it’s interesting and looks good on my writer’s resume. I’ve also managed to get a great website up and running, well okay, a mate of mine managed to get it up and running, but it’s mine to maintain and keep up to date.  So if you want more info on me and what I’m up to, find the links to anything I’ve written, take a look at www.gailbwilliams.com.

Then, in a rather surprise turn of events, I had an email on the 25th January.  Now the email itself wasn’t the surprise, I was expecting it as it was the results of a recent poetry competition run by the Swansea and District Writers’ Circle, results to be announced on the 4th, the surprise was that I won!  Poetry is not my thing and I only made the submission to ensure that there were a decent number of entries to judge from.  I would have been happy not to have ranked at all, so winning was a welcome surprise and a huge bonus.

So I’ve had a great start to the year and I hope it continues.  Who knows; maybe 2015 will be the year my writing really takes off.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized