Monday 29 June 2009

Red Rules and Really Helpful Readers

Just when you thought you couldn't edit again - before you have an editor who makes you edit again - I found red pens and an enthusiastic ten year old. Really, there are a team of three but one has endless amounts of patience and never tires of reading.

She had been more use than any other beta reader - if she doesn't know the word I've taken to changing it - she is the most useful 'tool' around - she says, 'This is great - I'm really enjoying reading it' but she also says - 'What does this say?' - I've taken to translating this as 'What do you mean?'

We make the perfect team - she will have a name credit on the front page along with my family and friends - and the whole of my 'Oscar' acceptance speech - or over-excited praise-fest - when-ing not if-ing it sells!

Flower and I spent Friday from our afternoon start through to 4 am hosting Come in Character - I was shattered - watching and refreshing the blog page.

Flower is so insular I couldn't just let her 'chat to the boys down the road' - she had to sit still unless spoken to.

After socialising at the 'local' all I wanted to do was snooze - cat-napping on watch is not good!

I composed whole conversations she wasn't having, and made Jess and Caleb wander by, but, keeping true to the littleness of her story, I kept them all away. Egg was allowed to visit, eventually, he has a survivor's attitude to life Flower should really learn from!


  1. Hi, Elaine!

    Although I find it hard to accept, I agree that my novel still requires editing... and then some more editing. I have the red pens - but no willing ten-year-olds. Poop.

    Anyway, I'm not sure if you're the same Elaine who commented on my Ruby Hollow blog last week, but if you are, Howdy! I tried emailing you - but it didn't work. So, please don't think I'm ignoring you. If you're still up for being a beta reader (or swapping manuscripts), I'm still up for it, too! Email me at anytime.

    If you're not the same Elaine, then you can either ignore this message or agree to swap stories, too. Hey, I can never have too many Elaines in my life. :-)

  2. Hi Laura

    My small team of mini-readers are the best! Some of the vocab stays because it is necessary. Some word choice changes are contested by the team. It's great fun hosting and keeps the right side of bickering!

    Yep - I've wandered through your cave with the light casting a greenish tinge on my skin that, oddly, seems to glow from within!

    I'd be happy to trade skills!



  3. Cool, I got the right Elaine! I'm so happy I found you... and I'm delighted that you've wandered the tunnels of Ruby Hollow. I so wish I could live there. Ah, the magic of fiction.

    Anyhoo, I would love to trade manuscripts with you... anytime, anywhere.