The single most important piece of advice I would give to any writer is get your work edited and get it edited even if you intend to approach a traditional publisher. You may think your work is a masterpiece, your family and friends may tell you so, you may have redrafted it hundreds of times, BUT, it still won’t be good enough. It needs and it deserves a pair of astute and dispassionate eyes. Here’s more about my own authorial minder:
John Hudspith, book editor and alchemist.
John describes himself as a book editor. I don’t agree with his description. He’s so much more than that.
First of all he’s no mean novelist in his own right. As such he brings his own writing skills to the editing table.
This fact alone is worth paying for. Why? Because as a client you’ll benefit from more than his editor’s red pen. He’ll also be your writing tutor and mentor.
He’ll criticise, he’ll be brutal, he’ll make you mad, but by god he’ll make you a better writer. You’ll be forced to slaughter some of your darlings – or ‘shave those babies’ as he calls it. He’ll stand over you telling you to rip out all extraneous wording, or ‘fluff’.
And, oh yes, he’ll line edit and proofread too, he’ll spot every stray comma, space and missing piece of punctuation – all as part of the package and all for the price you’d normally expect to pay just for a copy edit.
At the end of the process you’ll love him. You’ll love him because what he gives you is a writing course, a constructive appraisal and a determination to make your writing the best it can be. And when you do receive praise from him, you’ll know he means it and your heart will sing.
John has now edited two novels for me and I cannot really adequately express how much me and my writing owe him. He’s turned the base elements of several drafts and redrafts into something much more valuable, something that’s ready for publication.
Hire John. You and your writing are worth it.
Anne Stormont, Skye