When I decided to engage David Wailing as my editor I was very keen to gain his opinion on issues of structure, plot and characterisation but I fondly imagined that most of my text would come back pretty much as it started. I envisaged a few typos identified, maybe the odd spelling mistake here and there, that sort of thing. That’s why it was a bit of a shock to see every page littered with tracked changes and I had to decide what I thought about this. Should I stick with what I could consider my inimitable style and reject these changes, or should I have a good look at my writing and try to see it from another’s eyes? Fortunately I decided on the latter course of action and now I think my novel, The Butterfly Effect, will be a lot easier to read once it is published.
David was equally effective where plot was concerned and I had more decisions to take. Was the ending really unsatisfactory? Did the suspense build up effectively right to the climax, only for the whole thing to be resolved far too quickly and easily? Well, yes, that was true too, although I hadn’t seen it myself, and there followed an intense and sometimes painful process in which I suggested a number of alternative endings only for each to fall short. It is to David’s credit that he didn’t give up and advise me to go with the least worst of these options, but continued to encourage me to find an ending that would be worthy of the rest of the book. And I found it, eventually, and I think it will have made the novel so much more satisfactory from the reader’s point of view.
I would have no hesitation in recommending David Wailing, and I hope to work with him again.
Project: The Butterfly Effect
I liken David Wailing’s editing skills to a superhero movie. At the turning point of the second act, when the writer is sat traumatised in front of his laptop, losing the will to live, with subplots in a mess and character consistency shot to pieces, in swoops David. Somehow he picks up all the random bits and pieces and offers clear, practical and enlightened suggestions as to how it can all be glued back together again, but in a far more coherent and polished condition than it started.
I submitted my second book to David for a proof read, naively thinking I’d finished. How wrong I was! Looking back, I can’t believe that I nearly didn’t spend the extra cash on an essential line edit. It is the best investment in my work I’ve ever made.
Working alone, it’s easy to get lost in the abyss of the idea. So what every writer needs is a fellow writer with specialist editing and proof reading skills to highlight story problems, someone they trust to act as a sounding board, someone who will also bring practical advice for solutions consistent with the original story, someone who can expertly correct grammatical and ‘writers eye’ errors.
The person I trust with my writing is David Wailing. I’ll be using his editorial and proof reading services for all my future creative projects.
Project: The Curse of the Lonesome Mariner (Parts 1, 2 and 3)