Monday, December 02, 2013

A Service Every Writer Needs
NanoWriMo's over so you're all sitting there with huge manuscripts. Well done!

Now what are you going to do with them? Whack 'em about until they're into proper shape for publication of course.

No writer worth his/her salt can produce a book without having edited their work.  

But personal editing isn't enough - believe me, I've seen whoppers after I've edited a piece of writing twenty times and then swore they weren't there at the beginning (but they were).

I used an Editing Service when I felt my first novel Perfect Score was ready for submission to publishers and, boy, did I learn a lot from the service I used. It was well worth the money.

I'm edit-battling my new novel right now and I'm definitely going to get it professionally looked at before I start submitting it to publishers, even though I do have two novels under my belt already. Any writing needs other people's opinions, and friends and family may not give you the right ones. For that reason I do recommend that both published and self-published writers consider getting professional editing help so that you produce a gleaming manuscript no-one will refuse.

And I've found the very place...

Julia Roberts is the ideal editor who has given me valuable help in the past. It's amazing what she spots and gives advice on. So please welcome here today so that she can tell you more about the excellent job she does - reVamp Your Writing!

Sue: Julia, why did you set up this service?

Julia: I believe, even for experienced writers, receiving objective feedback on our writing is vital. We can become so familiar with our own words that we don’t always see the holes, or our minds fill in the gaps. I also wanted to provide a service for those just starting out, whether they are seeking a traditional publishing deal or aiming to self-publish.

I’ve been running creative writing classes for my local college for several years. As life gets busier and busier, I noticed more people were saying they would like to take a class and start writing, but they just didn’t have the time to commit to attending. With reVamp a new writer can work at their own pace, sending in work for feedback when needed, and only paying when they use the service rather than committing to pay for a whole term of lessons.

I also wanted to be able to help people on a one-to-one basis. When teaching a class of twelve the needs of the students can be extremely varied, and time is limited. With reVamp, clients can ask for advice whenever they need it and get a quick response.

Sue: What do you offer?

Julia: I offer manuscript appraisal for fiction writers – giving inline feedback on their work (using Word comments) and a ‘report’ on the story as a whole. Although I’m not a copy editing/proofreading service, I will highlight any errors and typos found. I also check continuity, pace, clarity... highlight info-dumping etc, and offer possible solutions.

I don’t just look for problems, though. If something is well done, or particularly effective, I will highlight that also.

For new writers, I can work through several drafts of a short story with them, again providing feedback and suggestions exactly where they are needed. If they are working on a novel, we can set targets and I can keep them on track, again providing feedback and advice as they work.

I will normally work on a 1000 word sample so the writer can decide if we are a good ‘fit’. If either of us decides not to go further, this is free of charge.

The different options available can be found on my website, along with a list of fees. Writers can also contact me at revampyourwriting (at) gmail (dot) com, if they wish to discuss something more tailored to their needs.

 Sue: How much experience do you have in this field?

Julia: I qualified to teach adults in 2001 and started teaching creative writing the same year. I’ve taught students aged from 15 to 85 with a wide range of writing experience. I’ve also worked with published authors on a variety of projects. I’m a published writer myself, with several short stories with a small press and also in horror magazines. I’m very familiar with the submission process (as a writer and as an editor), and the self-publishing process.

Sue: Why reVamp?

Julia: I am a dark fiction/horror writer, and I’ve read horror since...well, forever, so horror writers and authors of paranormal/supernatural fiction are most welcome to contact me.  Of course other genres are welcome, too. I will also work on erotica, subject to the usual caveats and reading a sample. (I also have a tendency to wear black, and only go out at night...and then there’s the coffin...)

Sue: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

If you want to write and be published, go for it – but be flexible about how to achieve your goal. And don’t give up, just keep learning.


Well, my next novel's not horror (it's suspense) but I'm definitely submitting the manuscript to Julia.