Friday, 16 November 2012

What I’ve learned so far, Part Two #edits

It seems to take me forever these days to get anything done, although I have been pretty swamped. As promised, I’m going to share a little I’ve learned from doing edits. (I’m doing this back to front since the next post on this I plan to do is revisions, but I do like to do things the hard way).  
Myth. Edits are terrifying, a nightmare to do and take forever. 
This may be true in some cases and I’m sure if my wonderful editor sent me them all in one ‘round’ the track changes and comments would seem a bit daunting, but really, edits are only suggestions to make your writing cleaner. Or in my case make what I’m trying to say make sense LOL.
Both books I sold to Beachwalk (The Monster of Fame and Isle of Sensuality) were around the same time, so of course I was making the same mistakes twice, and this probably made things tedious for my editor (I know it did for me, fixing the same mistakes over and over). Now I know most of it, I’m hoping book two in The Price of Fame Series won’t have as many blunders. 
So, I’m going to give a few examples of the things I had to change for The Monster of Fame. Please remember this is subjective to one publisher’s styles. If, for example, you were published by a UK house, then I don’t think you’d need to take out the ‘u’ in words like favourite, behaviour, etc.
Me: If you couldn’t sing, he’d tell you…
Editor: Have to get rid of the “you” Something like “If a contestant couldn’t sing, he’d say so” 

Me: granny Menzies
Editor: Granny Menzies

Okay, this one confused me a bit because it wasn’t changed all the way through. So I asked and my editor explained that when you are calling someone mum, or gran or grandfather as you would call someone by their name, then you use a capital letter. But if you’re referring to them (e.g. my gran loves those biscuits) then there’s no capital. 

Me: Anna felt her nose wrinkle *Yeah, I know*
Editor: You can make this less passive by saying ‘Anna wrinkled her nose’
And there were a LOT of comments like this. :)
Me: Blonde hair
Editor: Blonde for females, blond for males
Me: weary gaze
Editor: Wary perhaps?
This has more to do with the way I speak than anything. Us Scots seem to love making up words, or using other ones for different meanings, at least I do anyway! “This dreich weather’s making me weary” Although I would mean here tired/depressed.
Also, words like ‘had’ and ‘that’ were almost all deleted. Same with most of the exclamation marks.
See, not so bad really? I know this seems obvious to some, but I honestly didn’t have a clue about most of the stuff. We all have to learn somewhere.
Still, the comments weren’t all full of things to change. My editor leaves comments on things she particularly liked, things that made her laugh or parts that touched her so at first glance it does seem a bit daunting, but I’m usually smiling by the end of the book. 
The only thing with not doing it all in the one ‘round’ is that by the time line edits have come and gone and I’m reading over the galley, I’ve read my story about five times (and I’m not including all the times I re-read self-editing and revising!) I bet I could recite most of The Monster of Fame from memory!
Any questions, feel free to ask!
And as I’ve just received revisions from my editor on my full with RIVA/KISS I’ll do a post on that soon. 
Oh, and before I forget, I’m giving away a copy of Isle of Sensuality and a critique. There's four days left to enter. You can find out more here 


  1. Ah these are so familiar! I think lots of mine are due to the way I speak as well. Must admit, I actually like doing edits (I know, I'm strange). I'm hoping I'm getting better - I found my publishers pre-edit checklist very useful. But it's interesting how different the ones from the American publisher are from the UK publisher!
    Once the current one has gone to the editor I'm diving into Monster of Fame - so frustrating that I haven't been able to read it yet!

    1. Any chance in sharing something from that pre-edit checklist in a blog post Susie?

    2. Oooo Yes please! Share Ms Medwell ;)

  2. I quite like edits too! I always learn something, but I do hope I'm getting better catching all the crazysauce :)

    Hope you enjoy TMOF! I've still to get my hands on your latest. x

  3. Wow, interesting to hear what gets picked up Aimee. Edits sound time-consuming but do-able (bet that'd get edited away!) - looking forward to hearing about the revision process! And like Susie, I'm really looking forward to getting into the Fame Monster very soon!

    1. They are time consuming, but after months of not revisiting your book, it's nice to read it over. Plus, changes aren't set in stone. You can ask to keep stuff, like 'do-able' and most of the time, if you have a good reason like that's the way the character speaks, you get to keep it in. When you read TMOF, you'll see what I mean by some phrases Anna uses ;)