• Hayley, Developmental editor

Writing Craft

Updated: Jun 9

A little about me.

So… you have done it. You have written your book, typed ‘The End’ and you bravely want to share it with beta readers, family and friends. You want them to read the story that you have created, and to love your characters on their journey, as much as you do.

Hopefully for you, full of trepidation, you do not show it to a partner who starts laughing on the first page, to be precise the first paragraph of your serious science fiction novel. (Note: He is no longer my boyfriend. In the end, it was him or the dog. The dog and I are very happy together, thank you.)

Looking back, insensitive as he was, he was not wrong. It was bad.

I made every mistake it was possible to make.

At first, I was crushed but I became determined to prove

him wrong.

I would be a writer.

It was a long time ago, and I am over it (and him), but that book and that criticism set me on a path to improve my writing.

At first, I thought all it needed was proofreading, and being a single mother with zero budget, I thought, kill two birds with one stone; learn to proofread professionally, proof my own work and get paid to proofread others: Bingo!

So, I began my training, soon to realize after completing Proofreading 1 (Ciep) and Essential Proofreading (PTC) that it does not entirely work that way. Yes, I learned a lot; I learned how to read in a completely new way, to examine every word, indeed every letter, individually and do it quickly, find common mistakes and words that spell-checkers miss, and I read a huge volume of other novice writers’ work (for free) to improve my skills and gain the necessary experience to become an intermediate member of Ciep.

But my own writing: You cannot proofread your own work. Once you have made your 3rd, 10th, 537th pass, it begins to look like a nest of ink-dipped spiders have crawled across the page. No matter how perfect you think it is, you need a fresh set of eyes. Preferably a professional.

But what I did discover: I loved to read other people’s work and to help them improve it and so began my journey to where I am now. Over the past eight years I have completed training in Editing Fiction, Essential Grammar, Creative Copywriting, Copy Editing, Writing the Perfect Editorial report, and Developmental Editing Fiction: Theory and Practice and have read thousands of hours of your work.

I know what works and what doesn’t, and I

know how to help you make your writing shine.

My own writing has taken a back seat. I do still write and have a project nagging me to finish it while I write this blog, but mostly, I wake, turn on my computer and enter the worlds of others.

I love it.

So, enough about me. Let’s talk about you and let’s get you beta-reader-ready.

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