Well, I have finished the run through of the editorial comments made by my prospective publisher for Forest Brothers and – yup, she was right in 99% of cases! There is a serious problem when you edit your own work. You know the story. The action and dialogue has come from your mind, and it is to your mind you return to check it for errors.

After a while you can get blind to some mistakes. Technology can help you with spellcheck and some structure, but not always. Even now, some wayward commas and quotation marks were found in the returned manuscript. God knows what version this one is.

The secret is to do many edits using different methods. I always start by hand-writing my stories. The typing up is the first edit. the read-through is the second. There then should follow a reading out loud to yourself. Don’t be shy! It shows up how breathless your prose may or may not be for one thing.

I found transferring the prose to an e-reader helped also, the presentation on the screen seemed to make it slightly different.

Finally, if you belong to a forum or a Writers club that is healthy enough to give out constructive crit, use it. (and repay the complement to others) Third party feedback is essential.

Onwards and upwards