I’ve got a bit behind on blog posts after a very busy few months – but I do really enjoy putting these together and having a look back at the last couple of months, so hopefully they should be appearing more regularly now!
What I’ve been working on:
I’ve worked on some brilliant manuscripts for lovely authors over the last few months, and really do feel so lucky to get to do this for work. During February I was busy with two short story collections – one of these is being published as a collection, and the other is a selection of short stories which the writer is planning to submit to literary magazines. I’ve been working on some of my own short stories recently and was amazed, as ever, by how much easier it is to edit other people’s short stories than to fix your own.
Recently I’ve been busy with a copy edit of a fairytale retelling which has just been a delight to work on.
In other editing-related news, I hosted a CIEP discussion for editors who work on young adult and middle grade books. It was great, as always, to have a space to discuss approaches to editing and share tips. Amongst other things, we chatted about where the boundaries are between MG/YA/NA (new adult), content and language issues, and what trends we’re seeing in these genres.
What I’ve been reading:
The best fiction I’ve read recently is Ithaca by Claire North. I loved this and felt it was written so well – the narrative voice was really clever, and Claire is incredibly skilled at letting each character’s words and actions speak for themselves to convey emotion.
I also read Jordan Rosenfeld’s Make A Scene for a chat with other CIEP fiction editors. I’d hesitate to recommend this book to newer writers as following her advice for every scene would make a book feel rather formulaic, but it’d be a great read for more experienced writers looking to tighten their narrative. I was really intrigued by her advice on how your character’s actions should be influenced by their setting – so how the character responds to an event/information should be different if they were moved to a different location. I hadn’t really thought about that specific interaction between setting and characterisation before, but it’s something I’m looking forward to considering for future edits and in my own writing.
What I’ve been doing:
The sea has been a real source of joy for me through this winter. I’ve managed to keep up with swimming twice weekly, and the cold water is starting to feel a bit more like a friend now.
Most weekends have been spent in the hills – the end of March means a big ski touring trip and I’ve been concerned about keeping up on the ascents! We’ve had a little bit of snow in North Wales, so I’ve managed to get my skis out a few times locally – I can’t say it’s the best skiing I’ve ever done, but thankfully I am generally happy to ski pretty much anything regardless of quality. And when the weather’s been too bad to get out, I’ve been busy working away at my own writing. Long warm evenings don’t feel too far off now though; I can’t wait to get back to spending evenings at the crags.
I'm fully booked for novel-length manuscripts for April and May, but currently have editing slots available for June or later; drop me an email if you're interested in chatting about an edit. I'm particularly keen to book more developmental edits in, and can often fit short stories or essay-length pieces in at much shorter notice.