The Importance of Being Ernest About Editing

By James A Bresco

James A Bresco

James A Bresco. A well traveled and freedom loving adventurous male. James, a confirmed bachelor, closer to sixty than ever before, is passionate about writing and sailing, loves cooking; and thrives on Asian food, James lives aboard his boat and has no plans of going ashore, just yet. 

The day my first manuscript returned from the proofreaders, off it went again, this time destined for the editing process. It wasn’t long before it returned and, to be honest, I dreaded opening it.

I stalled for most of the morning and, managed to delay my confrontation with reality until after lunch and, it was more than likely the Malt Whiskey which I had with my coffee afterwards that finally gave me the courage to open the package and begin to read.

Fortunately each edit was marked as; suggestion in the right hand column of the word document, with a blue line indicating where I might like to apply the suggested edit, and there were quite a few!

To begin with, as I read through the suggested edits diligently, I could feel my anger rising, how dare she! If I were to make that edit as suggested, not only would it change the outcome of chapter 5, but confuse the reader later on, and so it went. I was, to say the least; both disappointed and annoyed at her rude intrusion into my work. “But hang on”, a little voice said; coming from I suspect, an area of my mind that dealt with logic versus pride, “It was after all you who invited this intrusion”, as I thought of it then, “and paid for it! Moreover”, the little voice went on, “you’re not obliged to make these changes, they are after all; only suggested edits, have another look.”

Pushing aside my male pride; a constant barrier hampering men’s ability to see the light, I began to read the document again, this time allowing myself, although reluctantly, the occasional suggested change until the chapter was completed. Then feeling somewhat like a traitor to my own cause, I closed down the word application, and went back to my writing.

Later that evening, curious to see if I had indeed; destroyed the mood of chapter 5, I started Word again and gingerly re-read the edited chapter. To my astonishment it did actually read better; more fluid and, the atmosphere I had so carefully crafted was still there. 

Of course I congratulated myself on my innate male ability to have selected the correct edits, and the little voice said. “But that’s what you were supposed to do in the first place, dummy.”

Anything that will improve your style and enhance your chances of actually selling your work is a must. Try to think of the editing and proofreading process as learning tools so that you won’t, in the future, make the same mistakes again.

I would like to introduce you to the, “Authors and writers Blog” serialized, where I display my recent and ongoing literary works. Starting with the first chapter from four works, I shall be adding a new chapter to each piece every two weeks.

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You can also check out The Warrior by James A. Bresco on this website.

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