Monday 26 August 2019

On Having My Mind Boggled...

I went on the Bridge House Publishing editing course back in May and it was an eye-opening experience.

Bridge House carry out not one or two but three edits of work. Naturally this takes time. The course showed what each edit did. By the time all three edits are carried out, writer and publisher know they have a polished piece of work to be proud of but this was also enlightening from a writing viewpoint.

What all good writing has!  Pixabay image

The more you can do on your own work before submission, the greater your chances of having your work accepted. Seeing the different editing stages really brought that home. It was also awe inspiring to see the work behind each edit and understand why every stage is crucial.

As a flash fiction writer (From Light to Dark and Back Again, Chapeltown Books), I’ve learned to develop editing skills given I’m writing in a form where every word must punch its weight if it is to stay in the tale. But seeing how much good editing matters to a publisher was enlightening. It really can turn a promising story into a great one.

Good writing is re-writing. There is no such thing as the perfect first draft. Pixabay image

It was also mind boggling to discover the different ways stories are formatted, even though Bridge House do set out clear guidelines.

It was clear how much time can be saved from the editor’s viewpoint if the preferred formatting is followed. It is very much in our own interests as writers to follow these things then! So regardless of anything else, I took home a great deal to apply to my writing, particularly the thought what can I do to save my publisher and editor time?

We could all do with more time to write, to edit, to submit work etc. Pixabay image.

Now I’m going to be on the other side of the fence as well and looking forward to this immensely. I am glad to say I am one of Bridge House’s new editors and I look forward to working with them and with the author whose work I will be editing soon.

I learned not to be afraid of editing when I finally grasped the point that this was going to make the difference to whether I would be published or not. What writer does not want to get their work to as a good a standard as possible?

A good publisher will want to bring their writers’ work up to the best it can be.

A good editor then is the publisher’s and the writer’s best friend.

A good writer will recognise what an editor and publisher can do in helping to hone work to as high a standard a possible.

There is a challenge to us all there, I think!

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