Urgh. I love writing, I genuinely do. The satisfaction of coming up with an idea and writing a story to completion gives me a buzz that spurs me on to start the next one. I’ve got a few books at various stages of completion now, but they’ve all had to go on hold while I tackle the only part of the process that I hate- editing.
With Forces, I had an editor. He’s a great editor and if anyone wants to have him edit their work, I’ll happily point you in his direction. As editors go, his rates are pretty good. Unfortunately, those rates have gone up for me since we last worked together. The price is still very fair. But with a wedding to pay for, and a business in start-up, I can’t afford to hand over the amount right now when making a profit on a book as a writer isn’t even close to guaranteed. So I’m doing it myself and hoping for the best.
I’d argue that it’s impossible for you to be able to look at your own work and find every spelling mistake in there. Believe me, I tried. My mind just corrects the mistakes for me in a lot of cases so the errors just pass me by- no matter how hard I’m looking for them. So, I’m using two sites. One that checks spelling, and the other that looks at grammar and sentence structures. It’s a slow and painstaking task.
It’s one that has to be done though. Obviously, I’d love to be able to afford an editor to do it for me, but I think I’ll still use this too even if I ever can. The sentence structure part has been more beneficial than I thought it would be. It’s allowed me to see where things can be written better, and it’s caused me to expand on certain details that I only briefly touched upon before. I’ve already added around 2500 words to The Cottage at the Bottom of the Hill and I’m only at the halfway point of going through it. It isn’t even added words for the sake of it. I’ve already expanded what is known about one key character in ways I wasn’t expecting. That’s the great thing about doing this. It’s made me look at my own work in a new way and in turn, the work improves.
I wish I had done this with Forces now. Forces was my first book and as such, I know now that it isn’t as great as it could have been. The more I write, the more I learn. The more I read, the more I learn. In hindsight, I wish I could go back and amend that story. But as it’s out there and it’s been read by quite a few people, it would seem like a cheat to change it now. I already know what issues need ironing out for the sequel. That book, by the way, is in the midst of a heavy rewrite- more about that in another post.
Editing is also why this site has turned into a bit of a Stargate fest of late. I’ve made sure that I don’t go back to writing anything new until Cottage is fully edited and ready to be published. It’s up for pre-order now here and so I have a self-imposed deadline that I need to be ready for. Thet cover, by the way, is just a holding one. But editing is something I need to take a break from every now and then, otherwise, the work will suffer. So these Stargate reviews are my downtime. I started doing them once before for a site called Idiotbox (there could be a fun post about what happened with that site in the future- it would involve Bryan Cranston, Joss Whedon and the cast of Neighbours), but I never finished. It’s always something I meant to go back to and I’m glad that I have. It’s one of those that I never tire of. Even the episodes I don’t care for are still ones that I can happily sit and watch. It’s great fun going back over them from a critical standpoint and there’s many episoes I’m excite to go back and revisit. If I’m a bit quiet on the writing front with posts, it’s because there’s not a lot new to say until Cottage is complete.
And hey, while I’m here, here’s the synopsis for The Cottage at the Bottom of the Hill.
“Eleven-year-old Sally has just learned she is adopted. The revelation has put a strain on the whole family, including her brother, Ben. They have also just moved away from their home to begin a new life in a small village called Greatchurch. Shortly after arriving, they make friends with the boy who lives next door, Martin. He tells them of his favourite place to play- a cottage at the bottom of a hill in the local woods. When he takes them to see it, they find that this is no ordinary cottage. It transports them to another world that is run by an evil Queen and her army. If they are to have any chance at getting back, they must survive the perilous obstacles that this strange new land presents them with. New friends must be made and new foes must be thwarted. Along the way, Sally comes to learn that the notion of family is not always a straightforward one.”
Right back to editing. A new Stargate review will be up later today.