So I was reading an interesting post on self-editing your books, which is what I did for A Queen’s Tale. (And so far I haven’t had anyone jumping up and down pointing out typos to me….well yet.) And I admit that I am all for self-editing.
If you have the skills.
Now I know some of us really suck at grammar and spelling for the most part. I know I do. But generally that is in the first draft where I am just writing hell for leather and don’t really care until later that “her wings filled up with water” when it was clearly meant to be her lungs. Now editing wise when I go back I am not a god, and I did have some help on it. But editing wise I am the only one who knows the kind of book I am trying to create, what the story should be, what is in the characters head and how I want it all to sound and I got an A bursary in seventh form in English so I should know what I am doing (even if that was so many years ago)(as to what the actual % I got for that I can’t actually remember but I was damn damn proud of it and didn’t care that I failed Calculus by 1% considering I had barely gone to any calculus classes since I was the only English speaker in there and the teacher never went back over things because all the genius other people in the class didn’t want her to…so yeah, I managed to con my way out of a lot of those classes…I vaguely regret it but more so I regret not just changing to a class I might have enjoyed more)
Right rambling where was I.
Editing right. I imagine that someday in the future I may have a real editor, one who has studied and/or earned this title, I admit I am going to be a picky little cow no doubt because I think I have a unique writing style at times and I don’t know that all editors will truly appreciate that. But I am still happy to be doing my editing myself, with some help with certain grammatical issues from others who read just for that, or people who are my trial audience like my partner in crime Sam.
Years back I was part of a writing course and got to spend some time with a leading NZ author one on one with my then novel Eiridis (which, yes, has fallen on the back burner again). But she had me edit the first chapter myself and then take it to her with her version of her edit of it. And she was delightfully surprised to find that I had it in me to kill my baby just how she had, red slashes everywhere (it was my first novel after all) and that I picked up the points she had noticed herself. (I was a “That” whore, seriously I couldn’t have used the word more if I had tried.) So that gives me some confidence. And yes I am the type to read a published novel and point at the mistakes I do find and sit and quibble over a sentence that doesn’t make sense until I work out how I would have said it myself so it read right. Am I saying I am gifted and talented her, well maybe, but mostly no. I mean anyone who reads my initial drafts, or has ever seen my facebook or twitter knows that I am simply put, the princess of the typo.
Was there a point to this…yes…if you have an editor or can afford an editor that is marvellous, if you are self-editing, don’t feel like you are doing the wrong thing, providing you have the required skills and a good support crew.
It takes a village to edit a book, but just one idiot (usually) to write it.