Friends and Feedback

10 Oct

While writing Duilleog I gave many advance copies of the manuscript to my friends and family. I had mixed support. My aunt gave me inspiration and asked me a great question one day that made me go “Wow!” and make a change in the novel. One of my friends accidently threw the manuscript out with the recycling and then didn’t have the courage to simply tell me. He has no idea just how angry and disappointed I was in that single act. Mostly though, I received praise. Everyone loved it. No constructive criticism, though. So, I thanked everyone honestly and sincerely.

So I relied on my editor. She did such a great job with the first chapter. But after I gave her the full novel I discovered that what I got back was merely a typo check and grammar correction. Nothing more really. And it wasn’t a lot of effort. Probably 10 hours worth of Track Changes. I should point out that my own ability to find typos was pretty good and so the corrections were truly minor. What I didn’t get from my editor was comments on the content, the storyline, plot holes, character development. Stuff I paid for but didn’t get. What I got was: “It’s fine.”

I was in a weird place back then. I was so excited about getting my novel out that I suppressed my concern and I went ahead and self-published. I was at the point that I could no longer see the forest for the trees. I thought my novel complete. I thought it good enough. It was, but it could have been better polished.

So the other day, a good friend who is just finishing up my novel sat me down and pulled out a list of errors and corrections that he found. He talked to me about the plot, storylines, wording, repetitive use of words, things that didn’t seem quite right to him. I could have hugged and kissed him and came damn close to doing just that. And he was worried he would offend me! That made me laugh. I told him that I was so absolutely thankful that I couldn’t possibly express it properly. So Steve C.: Thanks! Sincerely! OMG, you rock dude.

So, now I need to look at putting out a second edition. There are quite a few little problems that need to be fixed. Nothing major – all minor – but stuff my editor should ABSOLUTELY have picked up and corrected. Makes me angry knowing that my editor took my money and did the absolute minimum she could. It’s shameful. I need to find a good editor and hopefully I may have a way to seek that. I’ll explain in another post.

For those who have already purchased Duilleog: this corrected version should automatically be pushed to you on Amazon. if not, no worries. The corrections are simply typos and minor changes to word use. I didn’t do too bad a job with the first edition. It’s about 99.5% correct. Truly it is.

Oh, and the excerpt from Craobh that’s at the back of Duilleog? That will now become the epilogue within Duilleog.

Thanks for reading!

Don

One thought on “Friends and Feedback

  1. Oh my. When you hire an editor, it is supposed to be very clear what they are supposed to do. If you wanted only a grammar, punctuation and spelling check, then that’s a lot cheaper than paying for someone to give advice on plot, character development, etc. Sometimes an editor can’t do both, but they should tell you upfront if they can’t.

    You are fortunate to have a friend to sit down with you and point out areas that need improvement. This is where networking and gathering people around you who can help come in handy when you self-publish.

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