I do not write childrens books or fantasy, but my world is infected with unworldly entities. They infect all my writings, hiding behind the paragraphs and chapters – dodging the beta readers, the well meaning ‘helpful’ friends and the many attempts by me to re read the piece and catch them by surprise.
They jump out laughing with glee after I have published – in ebook and in print – relishing their damage to my wonderful work which WAS perfect when I uploaded it, wasn’t it?
Worse than that, they have ‘muggle’ friends in the real world who are all too quick to fire off reviews pointing out their devilish work, and implicating ME, suggesting that I have ALLOWED them to be there! I had no alternative than to finally resort to calling in a Word Wizard.
The Word Wizard appeared in a flash of lightning, to a mighty crash of thunder, with flowing cape, mighty staff and long, grey, wispy beard (it quite suited her, really) and informed me that she much preferred to be called an ‘editor’. I presume there is some great power in such a mystical name.
I showed her to the magical box containing the creatures, who were even then still ripping away at my wonderful style and constructions. I powered it up and ran out of the room, locking the door after me, then quickly retreated to the kitchen to make sweet tea to calm my nerves.
As I sat, with trembling hands, slowly gaining comfort from the warmth of the cup held tightly between my hands, I tried to close my ears to the thuds, bangs and ungodly screams coming from my study and solemnly reflected on all the advice I had ignored to my cost and my embarrassment.
“I don’t need an editor,” said a plainly stupid earlier version of myself. “Eight friends. Three of whom are English teachers, MUST be enough. How could they sneak any mistakes or clumsy construction past this army – especially led by ME, their fearless General.”
I never had much sympathy for General Custer until now. Wait, everything has gone quiet. What can be happening? I waited another ten minutes in silence before daring to slowly and carefully open the door and peer within. As the tiny crack between door and wall widened a sooty smell hit my face, causing my nose to wrinkle and my eyes to water. It was not a pretty sight. Thesauri and Dictionaries were scattered all over the floor and the possessed pc just sat there on the table, quiet, but with menacing lights flashing. “I’m not dead yet, what are you going to do about it?” They seemed to say.
I was relieved to see the editor sitting on the couch, smiling through the smoky mist and packing her short wand into her handbag “It’s ok now,” she said. “Next time, call me in earlier before it becomes such a big problem,” she , peered admonishingly over her spectacles. “I will, I will,” I nodded, rather too vigorously.
I offered her a drink, I had whisky, wine, anything... Back came the cold stare. “I am an Editor, not a Writer.” “Sorry, sorry,” I mumbled, as I followed her towards the door. As she left I watched her rise up into the sky.
Is it a bird? is it a plane? No its superm.... “PLAGIARISM!” I heard her scream as she disappeared into the clouds. I shut the door and retreated into the safety of my kitchen. How could I have been so proud and stupid. Not calling her in earlier was obviously the reason why my book had not sold the millions it deserved, instead of (I stared down at my Amazon statement) ... 3.
Please learn from my mistakes. Without professional help they WILL get in, there is no way to keep them out, and please pass this advice on to your friends who may consider going ‘bareback’ – publishing without a professional edit.
As usual there are cute cat pics – if you really like them there are plenty more on my facebook page. If you go there (and ‘like’ my page) you can see them – www.facebook.com/arthurcrandonauthor - and don’t forget to sign up for my blog so you get it stuffed into your inbox regularly.
Until next time, happy writing, Arthur. :-)