By Bruno Noble
"The I is a thing of the moment, and yet our lives are ruled by it. We cannot rid ourselves of this inexistent thing." (John Gray, Straw Dogs, 2002) A novel on the nature of the self
Monday, 27 March 2017
On editing and a new Unbound novel
I think an update is long overdue! Sorry...
I received my first editorial feedback six weeks ago and have been editing and revising A Thing of the Moment broadly in line with the recommendations of Elizabeth _________ (my Unbound-assigned editor) that came in the form of five sides of A4 with the following headings: “Structure and Plotting”, “Pacing/Tension”, “Characters” and “Language”. Elizabeth had clearly read my novel from cover to cover quite thoroughly and really understood what I was getting at, which was pleasing, and her advice was very good. Most challenging: her suggestion that I reduce the 156,000 words by as much as 30%!
I’ve made some changes and managed a 15% reduction (it’s down to 135,000 words) and will be returning my edited manuscript this week after which I will wait for more feedback.
At around the same time, I found myself extremely fortunate to have had my novel read by a friend, Catherine Evans, herself a novelist and the founder and editor of www.pennyshorts.com, a contemporary online short story emporium, who took it upon herself to give me even more detailed editorial feedback – line by line and over three meetings and numerous phone calls. To her, I am extremely indebted (or, as she would have me write, I am indebted to her).
Editing has been a revelation to me. The process reminded me of the time I received my roll of Super-8 film back for cutting and splicing into what would be my first (and last) film. It’s like a deck of cards that have been thrown in the air and can be rearranged in any order you want, in an order very different to the one you had originally envisioned. Cathy quoted Stephen King, “To write is human, to edit is devine.” I have had a glimpse of what he means.
Cathy’s second novel is crowd-funding on Unbound here: https://unbound.com/books/the-wrongun. I’ve read it. It’s brilliant. Please support it!