What I learnt this week: 30th March 2017

A writing update

A short blog today (what do you mean, whoopee?), because I’m not just juggling my medical writing with writing The Christmas Book (aka The Christmas Hotel. Maybe). Yesterday the edits for my next book landed in my inbox.

It’s a always a drum roll moment for me when I open the attachment. I’m excited to see what changes are being suggested to improve the book, but also apprehensive over how many, how long it might take me, and most scary of all. Can I actually make the suggestions work? Adding new characters, changing dialogue, including new scenes, softening/deepening the current characters can all enhance a book. They’re not always easy to do. You spend months and months editing the book yourself, making sure it flows, the plot works, the timings work. And even if you do say so yourself, it’s pretty damn good.

Then an editor comes along and shows you it wasn’t perfect after all. And actually, it could be a lot better.

Now you have to cut into your hard work and hope when you put it back together again, it still works. It feels like being a book surgeon (umm, a penguin surgeon was the closest image I could find).

Surgeon penguin

Let me explain my thinking. The body (book) is an intricate thing, yet I’m delving into it with a knife, chopping bits out, moving other parts around. Perhaps stitching new parts in. When I sew the body (book) back up, it’s with the hope that I didn’t just do no harm. I actually made it better than it was before.

Well there you go. As a child I always wanted to be either a writer or a doctor. I ended up being a pharmacist, who worked in a pharmaceutical company, writing. Who then went part time to write fiction. Who’s now convinced herself she’s a surgeon…

For those interested, the Christmas book word count is currently at: 19,400 words.

Not bad progress from last week, but it will be put on hold while I get my scalpel out. Wearing the surgical gown is optional.