Updated: Sep 26, 2019
As of this week, I received the first round of edits from my editor on my upcoming Detective Jake Tanner novel, Standstill. I must say, I’m impressed. My editor has supplied me with extensive notes, ideas for revision, and not only this but they have helped me understand better the mechanics behind character, plot, pacing and believability.
As authors our novels are our babies, our pride and joy, and for us to send them away to the scrupulous eyes of an editor is incredibly daunting.
Nevertheless, it’s an incredibly enriching process. The feedback I have received from my editor is both flattering and grounding. While yes, I was praised for my writing ability, I was also made aware of the fact my storytelling isn’t perfect, and that there is still a lot of room for improvement.
What I’ve learnt from this is that we’ve all got to grow and develop at some point; not everyone is born a master storyteller.
After I opened up the email containing everything my editor sent back to me - my editorial letter, manuscript and many other vital documents - I didn’t know how I was going to react. The reason for this is because I have only ever received editorial feedback once before (which was a complete mistake sending away in the first place, but more on that for another day). That particular feedback was poor. Constructive, yes. But poor, nonetheless.
It assaulted my ego and I quickly became dejected.
But this time was different. I’ve developed a lot as a writer since then, and I’ve also learned to accept criticism: it’s there to make me a better writer, and not meant to be a personal attack on me nor my writing.
So, when I read through the editorial letter, I thought, ‘OK, this makes sense.’ And I actually found myself agreeing with some of the issues that needed addressing and some of the suggestions my editor gave me.
I reminded myself they were all to make the book better. I want nothing more than for readers to enjoy Standstill, enjoy it so much that they read it again and again, or recommend it to someone else - like a particular good film.
I’ve also learned that the first draft of Standstill isn’t going to be perfect, and as Hemingway once said, “The first draft of anything is shit.”
What then, are some of the amendments that I’m going to be making?
Well, I want to keep it short and undisclosed… so here’s one:
- There is going to be a rift between Jake and Elizabeth’s marriage. What is Jake keeping from her, and why?
Hopefully that should be enough to get you excited for now. Soon I will be releasing the blurb for Standstill which will be even more exciting. I can’t wait to reveal that, and the book cover with you (as soon as it is done).
I’m incredibly thrilled about this project, and am honestly the most impatient person on the planet - I just want the book to be published so that everyone else can enjoy the thing I have spent just over a year creating.
Over the coming weeks, I’m going to be combing through the manuscript to make sure that it is as good as possible - keeping scenes, deleting scenes, rewriting scenes, perfecting scenes. The lot. Hopefully, by the end of January, we will have everything done, ready for a March launch perhaps. I’m still yet to decide on the timelines for everything - another thing to add to the to-do list.
In the meantime - the first instalment in the Jake Tanner series, An Unlikely Betrayal, is available to purchase online at the following eBook retailers. It follows Jake on his first ever case, and gives you an introduction into the kind of man he is.