Author Guest Post
Even The Top Writers Need An Editor And Proofreader
By: Mary Metcalfe
I am a content and copy editor and a published author of three fiction novels. Number four is now under construction. In my day work as an editor and doing editorial evaluations, I come across many wonderful writers. These are people who have spent many long hours to write and publish articles, short stories, fiction, nonfiction and memoirs. These are folks who know how to write and tell a great story.
And every single one of them needs an editor.
I recently evaluated a very engaging manuscript by a writer who opted not to have a professional copy edit done because “I have a degree in English Literature.” Unfortunately, that degree didn’t cover the fact that the Phil Donahue show was broadcast, for most of its record run, from Chicago and not New York, which is where she had situated it. Had she Googled it, she would have had the correct location in seconds.
Another writer, who clearly has a lengthy background in teaching journalistic writing and turned his excellent writing talents to fiction, wrote a wonderfully engaging novel. He too opted not to have it professionally edited. However, he kept changing scenes (including countries and timespans) without setting the scene up. So there I was wondering how a newborn baby in Chapter 9 had suddenly morphed into a 10-year-old going to hockey games with his stepfather in Chapter 10. There was no transition. And let’s not even get into the amazing leap to a bathroom scene in a British hotel after being in Winnipeg talking about a possible summer teaching gig. Or a woman who gave birth without a single grunt or groan and held down a lengthy conversation with her delivery doctor while the baby’s head was crowning.
Another manuscript I recently content edited had a scene where the local law enforcement officers were going off into the bush in snow up past their knees to retrieve a body… with a stretcher. I live in an area where the snow routinely piles up to a foot deep or more. There is no way a stretcher could be used in the woods. Well, it happens that my husband is a retired volunteer firefighter and first responder! They use a rescue sled. Bingo. Problem fixed.
An issue for writers of historical fiction is word use appropriate to the time setting. I recently content edited a manuscript set between 1768-1770 in northern Canada and the American colonies. Imagine my surprise to see words like hypothermia, sniper, foxhole and call girl! None of these words were in use. Call girl came from the 1930s when ‘ladies of the night’ started using telephones to make appointments. Not happening in 1770.
Then there was the semi-erotic manuscript I evaluated. Somehow, the guy was lying back on his elbows in the bed while serving his girlfriend a glass of wine. Something wasn’t quite working with that one.
In the age of e-readers, lengthy paragraphs become black screens of text in smaller formats. In several of the manuscripts I’ve worked on, particularly memoirs, there is a tendency to write long descriptive paragraphs. I tend to break these down for the sake of the e-readers.
I know from personal experience that I need an editor. And then I need a proofreader. All three of my novels were professionally content and copy edited. When that was done, I had my husband proofread them. He’s a technical editor/translator and he caught errors we all missed, including a character name being switched!
Many new authors are flocking to self-publishing without the benefit of a solid copy edit. Unfortunately, they are turning up alongside seasoned authors who recognize the value of a well-edited manuscript. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for consumers to sift through and find the polished gems among the rough cut ones. But, such is the nature of publishing in the 21st Century.
About The Author
New Beginnings by Mary Metcalfe
Book 2: Look To The Future Series
Publisher: Laskin Publishing
Publication Date: September 30, 2012
Format: Paperback - 250 pages / Kindle - 668 KB
Genre: Romance Suspense / Women's Fiction
BUY THE BOOK: New Beginnings
BUY THE SERIES: Look To The Future
Book 1: Winds Of Change
Book 2: New Beginnings
Book 3: Road To Tomorrow
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
My Book Review:
Carol Brock is a forty-three year old successful real estate agent who has sworn off men after a series of bad relationships. Carol is determined to take back control of her life and career, that is until she meets Devin Elliott, Boston's most eligible bachelor and restoration specialist. Devin puts in an offer for a Victorian house that Carol has listed, there is mutual attraction and a chance at a new beginning for both of them. But there is just one little problem ... Devin's psychopathic ex-girlfriend Allison, who is hellbent on stopping Devin from buying her mother's house and his growing relationship with Carol. Can Carol and Devin overcome the complications and obstacles that arise from their budding relationship and get a chance at a new beginning?
In New Beginnings, the second book of the Look To The Future series, author Mary Metcalfe weaves an intriguing tale of romance and suspense that will captivate the reader's attention. The reader is transported to picturesque New England as they follow Carol Brock and Devin Elliott's budding professional and personal relationship that is wrought with past emotional baggage, complications, and one seriously psycho ex-girlfriend.
This fast-paced story has a good mixture of romance, drama, tension, intrigue and suspense that easily draws the reader in and keeps them turning the pages. The characters are realistic and well developed with witty dialogue and engaging interactions; the author provides a richly detailed description of the setting; and a fascinating storyline that flows seamlessly as it builds momentum with unpredictable developments and suspenseful twists and turns until the dramatic conclusion.
I enjoyed watching the development of Carol and Devin's relationship, and how they both had to let go of their past emotional baggage, overcome unpredictable obstacles, re-evaluate their lives and take a risk in order to move forward and get a second chance at a new beginning.
New Beginnings is an enjoyable romantic suspense thriller that is simply hard to put down!
RATING: 4 STARS ****
Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway
Win A $20 Amazon Gift Card
Anyone who leaves a comment on the New Beginnings tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of New Beginnings before January 31 and sends their receipt to Samantha@ChickLitPlus.com will get 5 bonus entries!
Virtual Book Tour Schedule
January 15 – Change the Word – Guest Post
January 16 – Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review, Q&A & Excerpt
January 17 – Everything Books and Authors – Guest Post
January 21 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
January 22 – Musings From an Addicted Reader – Review
January 23 – Book Suburbia – Excerpt
January 27 – Authors and Readers Book Corner – Q&A
January 28 - Authors and Readers Book Corner - Review
January 28 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
January 29 – Fiction Dreams – Q&A
January 30 – Reader Girls – Excerpt
January 31 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt