About Writing, Life and Writing About Life

Last night I was writing the last chapter of Book 2, and considering the rise of digital media – particularly free content. One big theme which came out of it was the importance of quality. The quality of how you present your book in any area where it may get noticed is, of course, vital. And so is the quality of the content.
This leads me on to the benefits of having some sort of editorial input to every project. There are two kinds of editorial input to a book, as far as I am aware. One is copy editing – making sure the spelling and grammar are correct for instance. The other is a more nebulous affair – it’s where someone says to you ‘you could increase the tension if you didn’t reveal that secret until chapter 4 instead of chapter 2’ or ‘if you swapped round those two chapters it would make a better progression through the book’ or ‘I don’t think that character would behave like that, it just didn’t seem consistent with what we know about them’. Both kinds of editorial support are absolutely vital and any project will undoubtedly be poorer without them. It it tempting to believe that you are the exception and that your book is perfect just as you first wrote it, but none of us can honestly take the step back from our involvement that is needed. Even with the copy editing, you often read what you intended to write rather than what is on the page.
So the next question is how do you get this editorial input? As I said yesterday, I am lucky enough to be working with a publisher on Book 2 and so the editorial support comes with that. On Their Cancer – Your Journey I paid a professional editor to look it over, but I think I got a little more copy editing and less of the overview. There are also friends and family (which I also found beneficial) but you will have to learn to cope with other people having an opinion about your writing. This is tricky but gets easier with time and experience. Another option is to join a writing group or attend a course, which will give you feedback. At the end of the day, you are responsible for the quality of your content, but it makes sense to have input from others where you can.

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Comments on: "Considerations of Quality" (2)

  1. […] these books. It has, however, brought up the issue of quality again. I wrote on here before about the importance of editorial input, but it seems that there are plenty of books out there which haven’t had much if any of that […]

  2. […] to know what your friends think of your book then ask them before it is published, as part of your editorial process. If you are going to do that then ask them as a favour to you (or offer to do the same for them in […]

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