Monday, June 08, 2009


I've currently got stuff in my head that I'd rather not have, thank you very much.

Angels and demons, in fact. No, not Dan Brown; I have no interest there. It's the book I'm editing. And heavy going it is, too.

No names shall I mention and the angels and demons bit is all you get. The stuff I'm talking about is all the other work I've done on this piece, the grammar, spelling and formatting, then getting into the nitty gritty of the content.

A typical edit, but when done for the day, I pick up a book to read, to enjoy and all I'm thinking about is 'oops, needs a comma there', or 'wait a minute, didn't that character go somewhere else?' or 'nope, wrong word', or 'spell check that', 'fact check here', 'new subject, new paragraph', and so the list goes on. No writer produces the perfectly constructed book. What hits the shelves is the best the writer and editors can do.

Reading led me to both writing and editing. I do not want them to meet. I do not want editing to impinge on my enjoyment of reading for pleasure. Writing and editing, sure, they can become best-buddy-pals-digger-mates. But the analytical side of me needs to stay away from the creative side.

I thought this editing job - done as a swap - would be at a similar level as my own work, but it's not. The time and concentration the book requires has tempted me to give up on it, send it back with a few comments, but a promise is a promise and I shall carry on. It is, at least, a way to teach a new author what to watch for and how to write. I do not touch style or content - that's not my job at the moment, but it may come later.

All I will say is: when you send your work to someone, make sure you read through it and make sure it's the best you can make it. Your work, your time, is just as valuable as the person's who will edit it.

There. Rant over. Was that too much? Jeez, I need coffee... and chocolate. In no particular order.

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