The meeting of two engineers…

Ian Atkinson says…Ian

Initially, I was very reluctant to have someone ‘tamper’ with three years of work. This was my first and possibly only book and I was quite protective and concerned that an editor just would not get it.

32 Years Man & Buoy is a naval memoir, and as such contains a lot of jargon and naval slang that  a non-naval editor and also the reader might not understand, but this was my story, told how I wanted it to be told.

I needn’t have worried though, after reviewing a chapter or two and applying some free edits, I appreciated that I couldn’t live without Johnny’s editing skill and fresh eyes.

A typical batch of three chapters would return up to three hundred, yes three hundred, minor corrections and edits from correcting the spacing and punctuation to suggesting alternative words and phrases. Occasionally, during my self-editing and rereading process, double words would appear or the tiny words that the mind automatically inserts would be missed. Nothing got past Johnny’s eagle eyes though. All of these edits were suggestions, allowing me to query anything. At the end of each batch I would typically ask five to ten questions. Out of three hundred corrections, that was quite a low return. Even then, Johnny would answer very quickly as we worked together to make my book the best that it could be.

My earlier concerns evaporated as, amazingly, Johnny got my story immediately and did not attempt to change the context. The result is a far more polished work from the amateurish scribblings of a novice writer. Something to be proud of.

Would I recommend Johnny ? That is a 100% Yes! Could I have published my book without his assistance? Again, yes, but as a friend once pointed out, “It’s better to get the errors noticed and corrected now than to receive a slating later in an Amazon review, when it’s too late to do anything about it.” Wise words. So what’s next? Following on from Johnny’s excellent tutorage, I might try a novel. I am sure, together, we can do it.

Ian Atkinson.

`32 Years Man & Buoy`

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