You sit there for hours. Time means nothing. Your fingers fly across the keyboard and your character, or characters, are doing wonderous things. You are writing YOUR story! Days pass and then you hit the ‘wall’. Something isn’t right. That epsiode of furious activity long gone. You struggle on, finally leaving your novel for days, weeks, months, even years. The fun of writing your novel is not lost, but the glee and abandonment you felt when you started rarely comes now. Then, after rewrite after rewrite, deleted chapters, new beginnings and new endings, your book fools you into thinking it’s finished.
What to do? The word count is over 130,000 words, it has a beginning a middle and an end. You’ve done numerous line-edits, but it just sits there, waiting.
This is the story of my novel, Tarquin Jenkins and the Book of Dreams.
Now, before we all get depressed and decide that writing isn’t for us, I have a ray of sunshine, hope if you will, for all of us.
You need a qualified editor, someone who knows all about writing – shares the pain of dashed expectation – but also knows the joy of being published, and being read by more than your close knit friends and family.
8 years ago, simply by chance, my first chapter (which is now the third in my book), was seen by John Grant, also know as Paul Barnett. John is a Scottish author who has published over 70 books ranging from fiction to various encyclopedias on the film industry. I won’t bore you with his resume, you can find it on his website at; www.johngrantpaulbarnett.com
I still have his critique. John doesn’t mince his words. He’s in the business of writing, not pandering to ego’s. Simply put, though he liked the premise, there was an awful lot that needed to be done. I repeat, an awful lot that needed to be done.
Over the next couple of years John and I have shared our love of cricket in sometimes cryptic, short emails, sometimes longer depending on the game involved. Occasionally he would ask how my book writing was going, and I shared the occasional snippet.
About a year ago, I decided to finish the book and get it edited, properly. John is a very busy man, but I knew that if anyone could shove, push, pull or kick it down the right path John was that person. I put money aside for the editing and John and I made a deal.
I was very lucky in being introduced to John, but there are good editors out there, you need to research them. If you harbour dreams of publishing your book, whether through a publisher, or by yourself, you owe it to your characters to be polished and ready for their public.