When this is the first word of a report on your novel by an independent editor then the confidence in your ability to pull off writing a book soars a bit. I admit to allowing myself to fluff up my feathers for a moment or two before getting into the meat of the edits. Your friends and family will always tell you that your writing is good (they’d better do) so for me, to hear it from someone who knew what they were talking about (no offence friends and family) was a real vindication of my dedication and graft to getting the thing finished
And that was what drove me to go ahead and pay for an editor to give me some constructive feedback on my draft. After months stumbling around on my own, chewing this thing over, wondering if I could actually pull it off and get a slip of an idea from my head and nurture and bully it into a book I just wanted to know if it stood a chance. That if it delivered a growing pile of polite rejections it wasn’t because I was a hopeless writer.
So I chose The Literary Consultancy for my edit and they recommended Angela Clarke, an ex-journalist like me. Reading her interpretation of my book made my heart flutter – that was exactly what I had hoped a reader would get from it. It wasn’t all good news. The first few chapters were over written and my good bits of writing were being strangled by too many adjectives. A couple of the key characters could do with some extra scenes to really reinforce their relationships with the others. Interestingly, they were all things I knew in my heart, they were not a surprise. Probably things nagging in the back of my head that I just didn’t want/know how to focus on. Either way the amendments she suggested to make the novel even better were all spot on and just made me more excited. It was expensive but Angela’s comments were mainly around the first few chapters of the book and as these are the ones always read by those wading through the slush pile, I feel it was a really sound investment.
However, excited or not, as a writer with a proper job, I have to wait until I can book a day’s annual leave to get those edits started.