Autocrit, an online editing service which I use because it is useful in many areas of revision, offered a deal before Christmas: for $99US, editorial comment on the first 20 pages of a manuscript by The Editorial Department. Renni Brown, who wrote Self Editing for Fiction Writers, is one of the founders of the company.
The editor assigned to me, Lindsay Guzzaro, is a well-respected editor and author. She identified what worked and what didn’t in the first 20 pages.
Now I have to decide whether I can use her comments to improve not just the first 20 pages, but the remainder of the manuscript. She did recommend I read Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, which I did some years ago and will do again, and Syd Field, The Fundamentals of Screenwriting, not because I am writing a script, but for his teaching about plot and dialogue.
I’m part way through Field’s book, and I must say he is an excellent teacher and I am finding the book relevant to my work.
When I finish reading, I’ll begin the task for 2015, which is a rewrite of the manuscript, bearing in mind advice from Lindsay Guzzaro, teachers Ruth E. Walker and Gwynn Scheltema of Writescape, as well as teaching from Barbara Kyle at a recent retreat. Too much advice? Perhaps, but I see a way forward now.
Also reading Between Gods, by Alison Pick, an intimate biography of a woman’s search for her Jewish identity.
Finished reading The Best Laid Plans, by Terry Fallis, a hilarious political comedy. A recommended read for political junkies.