Editing my latest novel

I used to hate editing.  Since becoming a self-published author I have learned to embrace it with enthusiasm.

I have to wear a different head to the one when I wear I am writing.  I work more slowly, with greater attention to detail, less attention to the overall flow.  When I write I sometimes act out scenes.  When I edit I often read aloud to myself in a mumble much like chewing the cud.  I use my ears more than my eyes.

I am lucky that I have a very skilled editor who not only copy-edits but also interrogates me about plot and motivation.  Then it’s back to the laptop once again.

I also make a great deal of use of the features on Word.  I tend to change the view to Read which gives me two smaller pages on the screen.  The difference is remarkable and I can spot things I might otherwise never have seen.

I also make great use of Word’s Search and Replace.  I have a thing about characters having names so similar that might confuse the reader.  Many of them have to sport any number of name changes as the story is written.  Here Search and Replace is invaluable.

One of my friends said that I used the word ‘seemed’ too much in the sample I put up last Sunday.  I hadn’t realised, Andy.  Thanks for pointing it out.  I search and replaced every ‘seemed’ in the novel and changed a majority of them.  But not all.

Because this is the thing about editing.  I take all the advice I can.  I crave it.  Yet in the end I listen to my inner ear and and feel the story in my bones.  The final cut is mine.  It has to be.

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About Martin Lake

Martin Lake lives in the French Riviera with his wife. After studying at the University of East Anglia he worked as a teacher, trainer and company director. A serious accident shattered his arm and meant that he had to rein back his work. He decided to concentrate on writing and is now writing full-time. He writes a wide range of fiction. His main interests are historical fiction, short stories and fiction for young adults. Martin has a series of novels 'The Lost King' which are set in the years following the Norman Invasion of England. They concern Edgar Atheling, last representative of the ancient English royal dynasty and his fight to regain the throne from William the Conqueror. Martin has also published 'Artful' the further adventures of the Dodger and 'Outcasts' a novel about fall of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. His latest novel, 'A Love Most Dangerous' is about a maid of honour who becomes the lover of Henry VIII. Martin’s work has been broadcast on radio. He won first prize in the Kenneth Grahame Society competition to write a story based on 'The Wind in the Willows.' You can get the collection, 'The Wind in the Willows Short Stories' from Amazon.
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