Where I lead, men follow, for great men make their own destiny and I have my pursuit of excellence.
Isacc Tarakai, The Chronicles of Cyralost.
Like all writers, I want everything that I produce to be a work of art. In my pursuit of excellence I need each manuscript to be perfect. Once we have bedded the muse and sated our creativity, the moment comes to polish our potential masterpieces and ensure they are worthy of publishing.
With regards to editing, we are blessed to live in an era where technology can point us in the right direction and time-saving corrective software can be found in abundance. However, we mortals are prone to human error and all manner of mistakes can still be made. Computers, can’t repair everything.
No matter how talented or well educated a writer may be, things like self-doubt, tiredness or even a slip of a finger on the keyboard can lead to an unprofessional looking document. Even the most anal and meticulous writer can err… and, that’s okay, because we all make mistakes. Just ask your folks (not that I am suggesting you were a mistake.).
Fortunately, we writers have a back-up. In my experience, I have been lucky to meet and befriend lots of writers (many of them, published authors) over the years. I have discovered that every writer procrastinates. The most common cause for this is fear of failure. The universally accepted cure for this is to write regardless. We are writers, we must write. The worry that anything we write might not be good, can be assuaged by the simple fact that ‘bad writing’ can be rectified.
The remedy that will ease your mind and make your manuscript the best that it can be, that back-up I referred to – is an editor (they’re human too).
Let me tell you about Steve of Steve Frost Editing (not to be confused with ‘Inflatable Steve’)
Steve Frost (clever bloke, he’s got letters after his name and a certificate to prove it) has been proof reading and editing my manuscript for some time now. His tireless work ethic produces a steady stream of polished writing, highlighting any incorrect punctuation or grammar and carefully reconstructing sentences appropriately.
I poured over my stories dozens of times and still didn’t catch all of the mistakes I made. Sometimes, a second pair of eyes is required. If one hopes for any success with publishing, a qualified ‘pair of eyes’ is necessary. Most writers are not able to view their own work objectively. Steve has pointed out potential changes to my writing, making educated suggestions to make the story flow. He has also removed unnecessary words and content (how many of us have heard the advice about omitting the words ‘very’ or ‘so’ and yet still discovered our manuscripts littered with them?).
Steve has been brutal with it. Brutal is good. Like many writers, I’m emotionally attached to my novel on some level. I need a professional to make the necessary changes that I cannot bring myself to perform. I need someone I trust to edit appropriately.
Mr Frost is that professional I trust. He has made my writing better. Steve is as friendly as he is professional and his correspondence reflects this. He provides a superior service along with constructive criticism. This is encouraging and I value that. His alterations are evident and suggestions are simple. I value that too.
Steve’s efforts on my behalf have given me a keen insight into the mechanics of writing and instilled a new sense of excitement for my project. I am humbled. I am grateful. I think Steve and I will have a long relationship (I’ll tell you about my relationship with ‘Inflatable Steve’ another time).
I encourage you to visit Steve Frost’s website: http://www.stevefrostediting.com
Kieran Davis (who also writes as Baldypoems)