Editorial Work

Editorial Work.

An interesting post that is very relevant as I edit ‘Wyrm Bait’ (and have to miss blogging properly today).

As I say in my comment, below the post: I used some beta readers for my first novel, and got some valuable advice from some of them at least. Going to do same with novel revising at moment BUT also sending it to a professional editor. Having both sets of comments will help me decide how much gets hacked or honed. Read too much self-published stuff that feels as if the writer never got any help.

Will be interested to see comments and thoughts.

My wife finds the words and I shed the tears wanting to take her pain away. But I can’t.

Today I re-post this on my blog as MS has claimed the day.



Some days it is really hard to put thoughts into words…..today I will try!!!!

 I have thought about what to put in my blog for a few days….I have so many thoughts going through my head but today is different…….today I want to try and tell you what it is like to be in love with and married to a person with MS or Multiple Sclerosis. I was never exposed to any real disability issues growing up….oh I remember a few families in the neighborhood who had disabled kids but I never really questioned why they were the way they were……that is until they died so young from whatever disease caused them to be different from everyone else….it scared me to think about losing someone at such a young age and never really quite understood the impact that different diseases and disabilities had on a person and those who loved…

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Wonderful memories shared by my muse



Sitting here at my computer, looking out the window to a wonderland that is winter. It is very quiet in the house and I can hear the gentle ticking of the clock on the wall. It brings back a flood of memories for me of sitting in my grandmothers home in front of the windows where the sun streams through the lacy curtains and floods her violets with life giving sunlight. She had a cuckoo clock and I will never forget the sounds of that clock for the rest of my days…..such a gentle sound and it soothed me when I wanted to forget the world and how some people made me  feel.


I miss spring and I know it will be here soon. It means life starting over again, although in our life we never seem to be able to recycle like the flowers in spring. Oh to be…

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Do you struggle with Word Selection?

Words have a power all their own

Words have a power all their own (Photo credit: Lynne Hand)

The word is on the tip of my tongue, or is it in my fingers poised above the keyboard. Wherever it is I need to find that dang word but I can’t. As I work through the current draft of Wyrm Bait, or in a few months some other novel, there are words that don’t read right. When nothing comes out of my addled head, I spend time delving for a better one in the Flip Dictionary, a really useful aid created by Barbara Ann Kipfer for The Writer’s Digest, which I prefer over a conventional thesaurus.

Cover of "Flip Dictionary"However hard I attempt to find dozens of phrases and words to change on every page of my manuscript, failure dogs my endeavours. Why? Conventional wisdom suggests that at the detailed editing stage I should be honing each word or phrase, since previous drafts only tackled the broader brush-strokes. In fact the number of edits should be nearer six if not more. What am I missing? Am I rushing? I’ve given myself two months at the rate of 8 pages per day. Or am I still too involved with my creation and unwilling to address its failings?

Maybe my writing process has eliminated the need to do repeated revisions. I plot my novels in detail and each day, before I write anything, I think through the next scene in my head. When I type, I don’t always churn out words as they come to mind. I craft my phrases a little but not at the expense of the flow. I also glance through my work at the end of each day or the following morning. Am I editing as I write?

I fear there is another answer. Word selection fails when I talk and I can ascribe that to my MS. Gradually the stress and the exhaustion has robbed me of my ability to remember even simple words. Sometimes I talk rubbish and I only pray that my writing isn’t close behind. Admittedly I can use the wrong word or hit the wrong keys but I call that a co-ordination relapse. When I was an equestrian journalist, remembering names of horses and riders’ faces was straightforward and essential. Now I forget friends’ names and the titles of song that I love by ?*&%$£?)(

Picture of Hollywood sign

Picture of Hollywood sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If only I hadn’t blown my money on Hollywood dreams, I might have the savings now to employ an editor with a better brain; or at least one without lesions.

Talk to you all next week. Good writing from The Silver Scribbler.

Is hindsight useful?

Struggling to edit the second novel I attempted, today’s Blog is brief and more like navel gazing than tackling new ground. In 2011 I wrote a blog post entitled First Drafts – posted below as not archived on this site.

Re-reading the post, it seems to reflect the process that I find myself in. Except the novel that I’ve just finished drafting is Wyrm Blood, the sequel to Wyrm Bait, which is the novel being edited, for the  third time. And Spiral of Hooves is with an e-publisher and should be available some time in 2013.

My word count has dropped significantly, mainly due to my MS worsening. However I feel that my writing has improved, but that decision is ultimately down to my readers. Hopefully having seven Works In Progress, there should be at least two published novels to enjoy this time next year. Beta-readers get advance previews, but that means putting up with mistakes and telling me what sucks. In late March I will be appealing for constructive betas for Wyrm Bait.

Clutter Update: Great (fraternal) minds thinks alike. Taking photos of the clutter resolved the problem of accessing my mother’s no-wheelchair access flat. Now I just have to tell my brother what gets chucked, and what gets saved, using the photos he took.

You Want Me To Go Down Where?!

You Want Me To Go Down Where?! (Photo credit: tobym)

First Drafts


Another milestone in the novel writing adventures of the Silver Scribbler. Having set myself the deadline of a month to write the first draft of ‘Skeins’, I completed it on time yesterday, without cheating.  Great feeling although not something that I would do again as it meant having to be somewhat anti-social from waking up to going to bed; barring MS exercises, meals and rests.  Also with the MS, I did require regular breaks or my legs stiffened up badly.  Next time I will go for a slightly slower pace – back from 2,500 words per day to 2,000 = 5-6 weeks for same length draft (78,000).

Anyway it is written and without reading it through to revise it, I am happy given it is a first draft.  First real test will be my honey reading it, especially as gaming is at centre of the cyber-crime plot.  Also new working title is ‘Wyrm Bait’ due to cyber & fantasy gaming connections. Might even use main characters again and stick with some title format with ‘Wyrm’ or related.

I won’t be doing any serious revision on it for at least a month if not two or even six (the recommended marination time according to some professional writers). Instead I will be beginning the revision of ‘Spiral of Hooves’ which has sat in a cupboard since June 12th. Spent a week deliberating about how long to marinade it for and whether I should start a second novel, or whatever was deemed sensible. Eventually having weighed up all the advice, decided to write two in parallel.

So ‘Spiral of Hooves’ re-enters my life and I wonder what I will find.  Could be an exciting time for the Silver Scribbler…and his red pen.