Gods, I need an editor!

​As with any trade, the more you work at it, the better you become – and it’s the same with writing. 

Looking back now, I can see how clumsy and amateur some of the prose from my earlier work actually was. A part of me wishes I could go back and tighten up some of this – especially my first book, Pearl’s Hereafter – but I have neither the time nor the patience and want to focus on what I’m writing at the moment.  

It’s not so much that I’m embarrassed by my earlier work, as I think that it’s great story-wise, but it’s just the idea that people might have formed judgements about my writing based on its early shoddiness. I’m reassured, however, by the fact that Stephen King dismisses his first two novels as utter crap. All writers – even great ones – began from somewhere. 

It takes a while to find your writer’s voice and hone your craft. Like Stephen King, I also feel apprehensive towards my first two books (one of them hasn’t even seen the light of day yet). With my third book though – The Essence of Sunshine – the quality of my prose dramatically improved and I was very pleased with the finished piece. In fact, it is the first project that I haven’t felt the need to go back and fix. 

At the moment, I am writing a fantasy, which has yielded my best writing to date. I am excited to share this latest work and want to focus on bringing it into fruition. However, I do think that my earlier books need some TLC, so I am now considering hiring an editor for this purpose. If I can get someone on board to tighten up my earlier works, then I can carry on doing what I truly love and invest all my creative energy into my writing. 

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A call to return

Last week, I felt that it was the right time to return to my book. So that is exactly what I did.

For the past month or so, I’ve been setting up a business, which is still in production, but I simply can’t keep away from my book any longer. I got a calling from deep within my soul and I just KNEW it was the right time to carry on. This will probably delay the launch of my business slightly, but hey, it’ll get done at some point. That’s the problem with long-term ventures.. it can take a while to see the results!

Nevertheless, I am confident that I can see everything through to completion.  Now that I’m back to polishing my book, it’s like I’ve never been away. And, if I may say so, the revised prose is looking mighty fine! Taking a break has definitely given me fresh eyes and I can now quite effectively cut out the crap. Thankfully, there isn’t much crap to cut out, just minor tweaks and such.

Before long, I should be sending out the completed second draft to friends and family to see what they make of it. Hopefully, (fingers and toes crossed) they will enjoy it! So far, only three people have seen it, and they have given me good feedback, so I am pretty confident that it will go down well with others. I can’t wait to get it out there to a wider circle of people!

A break from my book.. while I work on something else :P

What’s this? I’m putting aside my first draft for a little while??

Yes, that’s right! In his book, “On Writing”, Stephen King suggests that when you finish your first draft, you should put it in a drawer for 4-6 weeks until you can look upon it with fresh eyes. Only then can you edit your work without sentiment.

At first, I wasn’t going to heed this advice. I started my story eight months ago, so I was looking upon the majority of my manuscript with fresh eyes anyway. But I understand what Mr King is saying, because I can be quite sentimental when it comes to editing.

As it happens, I have another project to work on in the meantime, which is brilliant because Stephen King actually recommends working on another project during this period! The project involves a lot of writing, so I’m still honing my craft with every passing day, and shall return to my book when the time is right.

I’m actually setting up my own business, you know! It’s a creative business too (hence all the writing).. basically, I’ll be writing and selling murder mystery parties! So I’m currently in the process of creating characters, storylines and all the other objectives which are required for such parties. And I must say, I’m thoroughly enjoying the process!

When the website for the business is launched (probably some time in October), I’ll then return to my book and pick up from where I left off. Hopefully, I will have received all of my feedback by then too, so I’ll be able to plough on with the rewrite with completely fresh eyes!

P.S. Here’s a preview page for the business website.. I’m so excited xD (www.mysterycow.com)

And if you’d like to follow the updates of Mystery Cow, then why don’t you add it on Twitter? @mystery_cow