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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Editing next year's best seller...

This week I am editing my new novel. I wrote it last year and have been waiting with baited breath for my editor's notes. For my first novel, although I didn't know what to expect, I do know that when the notes arrived, I hadn't expected what I got. I imagined a post-it note saying, "Marvellous, Lorraine, well done." I didn't get that - instead there were pages of notes saying everything from "that's ridiculous, write it again," to "need a comma there".

The second time, I thought I knew it all and felt assured of the post-it again. Nope. Another tome, this time with a few back and fores about whether a character finding two baby rabbits in a pile of vomit on his doorstep was likely or not. My editor thought not, but then, she has never been to my friend's house...

I feel that I am one of those laboratory hamsters that never learns, and still licks the live wires, but it is fantastic to see her notes kicking the manuscript into shape. I lose a bit of unnecessary waffle here, or a boring character there, but get buoyed up by a comment that shows that she too likes one of my favourite bits.

The best bits about the editing process are the differences highlighted between us: she might not get a phrase that I use ten times a day, or I realise that I have always used a word in the wrong context, but my favourite part of this particular editing process is the fact that she said something was too far fetched - but I KNOW that I saw someone showing how he could put two-pence pieces into his foreskin in the corner of a pub...