Helen Hart of SilverWood Books came back to me promptly with her appraisal and recommendation that I have a structural edit done with a choice of copy edit if I preferred. A structural edit was what I knew I needed, it would take three weeks to complete.
Being new to all this I don’t know what authors generally do about getting their work finished off to a good enough shape to show other people. I always read the acknowledgements in books and it seems most have a host of people that give them varying amounts of help at different stages of the book. I really felt after spending so much time and energy on writing it in the first place I wanted to do the best for my story that I could so to me that justified the cost and the input.
I spent the three weeks setting up a small website – more on that later! And of course unable to stop writing I started on the second book in The Grayson Trilogy which will be called ‘Before the Dawn’ – very exciting!
Helen sent my manuscript back once the edit had been completed by Ali Griffiths. I received a six page detailed report which covered all aspects of the novel and offered ideas to consider as I continued to refine my work. The manuscript had also been annotated with comments throughout and they covered everything from chapter length to suggestions for sections that could be deleted as well as areas that needed more. Most importantly Ali gave me a brilliant suggestion as to how to change the opening. I found this edit invaluable, and learnt so much about publishing in the process it was worth every penny.
I now faced the task of implementing the changes and it was a daunting one. My book is quite long, around 95,000 words and it takes quite a bit of manhandling. Several sections had to be moved around to deal with the new opening but the main task throughout involved restructuring all the chapters. Originally mine were all over the place, some much too short, none nearly long enough – in fact there were 80 plus! When I had finished there were 25! This restructuring, reworking and in some cases rewriting took 5 months and I finished it in the early hours one morning, exactly a year to the day since I wrote my first word – remember my deadline setting issues from an earlier post!
Currently reading ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ by Robert Galbraith