Adulthood Non-fiction Observations Writing

My Editing Process

When thinking up material to put on my blog, I always think about what I would love to read as an aspiring writer. Some may find my advice incredibly boring. For some it might not work or it could be the complete opposite to what others do but this is me and this is how I edit.

So, I have 65,000+ words on a page.

I know that this has to increase. I also know that some bits must be cut in order for the end product to be of my best ability.

Firstly, I set myself a goal. I put the pressure on. This goal is therefore usually unrealistic but I make myself slightly stressed out in order to edit at my best. For example, I have just finished my second novel and I am well into the editing process on that. My end goal is the end of this month which was initially the end of last year so that the pressure remains.

Next I read through chapter by chapter and as much as if I were reading it as a novel as I possibly can. This is done on my laptop. I make changes as I go. I note down ideas on a separate document to look at later regarding the piece as a whole. This might be to check that a certain character is consistently a girl or to ensure that the timeline of events works.

Once I have completed the first read through, I turn to the trusty editor button on Microsoft Word and I complete all amendments there if I agree.

I then print it out. Bind it.

Having it nicely presented somehow helps and it also makes for a good keepsake in the future when I reminisce about past works. This is partly for my own satisfaction, but partly because I find that my brain works in an entirely different way when it reads something printed as opposed to on the screen of a laptop. It also makes for a nice and easy presented version to give to proofreaders.

I send to any proofreaders that I have in mind and keep one copy for myself to read. I read again on paper, marking in pen any changes and again filling in my notes doc on the computer.

Next I take back any proofreader copies as well as my newly changed hardcopy and make all changes.

Finally I go over my notes doc and complete all task there.

Then it goes off to the publishers.

That’s it. That is how I edit. In case you were wondering. Apologies if you weren’t!

Happy Friday all.

All blog posts can be found at and to read my published work visit my portfolio. My debut novel, Dear Brannagh, is out now.

Adulthood Non-fiction Special moments Writing

My Publishing Journey: A 2020 Publication Date

Wow. It’s all been very quiet on the publishing front and then – bam – it’s livened up.

Last week was a little bit crazy. I was doing 6 o’clock starts and leaving work at 6pm with possibly a few hours out but often that time was spent running around doing work-y things. Of course, this is the week in which I receive exciting emails for my book. Why wouldn’t it be? I find it’s like London buses my work load, it all happens at once!

It was Wednesday. I had just returned to work having sat staring at the TV not taking in what words the presenters were saying but instead contemplating how long my adrenaline rush would last and whether or not I’d survive the week. We were two important cogs of the wheel down and I was having to fill my head with more information than usual. The email came through from my publishers, and I knew exactly what it was.

My final proof certificate!!!!!!

I read the email carefully, glanced at the piles of post I needed to get through for customers who had come in during my break, and got straight back into my car to go to my printer and get it all signed off. The email stated that if I got the form filled in and sent back quickly, my book would make the Christmas market. I think signing and returning within 2 hours of receiving the email is pretty bloody quick!

That was that. Excitement again. Like no other. I couldn’t believe it and had to pinch myself that it was real and happening.

Friday. I got home and it was sunny so I had my sausage dog in his harness and we were waiting on my sister to go for a walk. Another email. This time it was my publication date!

Oh my oh my oh my…

My book is going to be published on the 30th November!!!!! It is all so very real and exciting. My support bubble are all incredible and the pre-order list is expanding fast.

A 2020 publication date might not be so bad… we shall see…

For links to all of my writing related stuff, my link tree is below. You can also find published work in my portfolio. My debut novel, Dear Brannagh, is available on Amazon along with the sequel Don’t Tell Jack. If you enjoy what you’re seeing here and are interested in following me on my writing journey, then please subscribe to my newsletter by dropping your name and email. There will be plenty of giveaways, news hot off the press and an honest insight into life as an author. Thank you x

fiction Stories Writing

My Publishing Journey: The Second Proof in lock down

It’s sunny, the birds are singing, The Beatles are playing Here Comes The Sun aloud into my garden via Alexa and it’s all very lovely. My dog has just brought me his brussel sprout toy to throw him and I’m wondering why I even look at other toys for him because sprout will always be best.

I’ve just had to dust my laptop to see the screen. No idea why this was the case as it’s been well used over the past week or so since I received my second proof via email.

Lock down life, as you’ll know if you’re a regular reader of mine, has been nothing short of frantic. Work has taken over and my writing has been pushed aside a little apart from the days where inspiration won’t allow me to escape writing it down.

This is why on receipt of the second proof of my manuscript I screamed a little inside with panic as to how I was ever going to complete a full read through.

My publishers have told me that this could well be the final proof before my book goes to print which is both alarming and extremely exciting. For this reason I must get it right.

So far so good in that the only edit I have made is a missing ‘he’ early on (much like my own life) and a slight structural change to the whole thing, but nothing major. Just an idea that came to me this time around and one which I think will improve the overall read. Quite good for almost half way in, I say!

I must admit that it was beginning to get to me the lack of time I was putting into my writing lately. All of my customers at work kept asking how it was going and I would repeat myself, losing a little optimism each time.

The excitment that came from the proof has turned these conversations around and I’m now discussing my passion for writing with those who didn’t know I was a writer and hypothetically planning my launch party with those who did (a bit premature I know).

My advice to anyone losing their mojo with any passion during these difficult times would be to stick at it. Make time for it. Talk about it. Don’t lose faith.

I am now highly enthusiastic and cannot wait to approve my proof to move onto the next stage of the publishing process.

I may even have a release date for you all soon! Watch this space…

Non-fiction Observations Writing

My Publishing Journey: The Proof

It has been a week and a half since I received the exciting email containing the professionally edited proof of my debut novel.

At a first glance, all I felt was excitement. Giddy excitement to see my baby, still on a Word Document, but looking as it will look on the pages of an actual book. The layout just looked fabulous and having my name as the author and on copyright was pretty cool.

My words flowing, words I had written, characters I’d come up with in a world entirely created by moi – it still seems surreal. Scrolling briefly before reading any, I was happy to see that it hadn’t been completely covered in editor comments and changes, and felt quite proud that an amount of my time studying English had been worthwhile.

My publishers explained to me in detail how they have edited my manuscript and advised precisely how I go about agreeing with their changes or, indeed, disagreeing.

I realise I am no professional. I am fully aware that I am brand new to this game. However, I felt it would be useful to share with you all my tips so far on THE PROOF and what I have found helpful when reading through my entire manuscript once again.

  • READ ALOUD: it makes for clearer reading and easier to spot little mistakes
  • TAKE YOUR TIME: while time is of the essence, this book is going out into the world, do not rush, be careful to get it right
  • PLAN, BUT NOT TOO MUCH: I have planned to read a chapter a day. If I achieve more, then I am very happy but if that is all I manage then equally, I have done well. I work full time and sometimes after a busy shift my eyes need to be away from screens.
  • KEEP A CLEAR HEAD: there is no point attempting to effectively read through and edit when your brain is frazzled. I find it takes a few moments to get into the right head space in which to work properly. This weekend I am off to the beach. I have a great friend who makes this happen but also, the beach is where my mind instantly clears and I know I will get a lot of quality work done while there.
  • BE PROUD: don’t underestimate your achievement and be proud to look at your book in a professionally edited form. As much as you feel you’re boring those around you, it is VERY VERY exciting!
Non-fiction Special moments Writing

My Publishing Journey: the first stages

There I was signed up, no going back and eager for all that the future held. I was thrilled at how my future was developing.

I sent off my manuscript ready for it to undergo the first stages of publishing. I had read a lot about it before but it was very exciting to see it done for myself and for my debut novel.

I have to say so far the communication between myself and my publishers has been sound. I couldn’t fault it. They are very quick to respond and thorough in their responses.

Firstly, I had to fill in a questionnaire which included lots of details about my novel as well as a cover design idea. I can’t draw nor am I very artistic in that sense at all so I had an image inside my mind and desperately tried to explain it as well as I could in words.

Two weeks later I was emailed what they had come up with and it is perfect.

Now awaiting the first proofs the pending excitement continues.

Good things to come… stay tuned xoxo

Non-fiction Special moments Writing

My Publishing Journey: the decision

Shortly after receiving my publishing contract I returned to reality. I put a serious head on and I realised I needed to make a very important decision.

I researched my publishers online, I read about the different forms of publishing, I read and re-read the contract and then passed it onto my brother for advice.

I soon realised that this was a big decision to make. Nowadays there are so many options within the publishing industry and so many success stories within each route taken that it opens up so many opportunities to consider.

Reading through the industry jargon hurt my head which is why it was also great to get people who know about contracts to translate to me in layman’s terms.

I contacted people who have worked in publishing for years. I considered advice from the society of authors. I emailed my long list of questions to the publishers directly. I weighed up the pros and cons.

I had more sleepless nights worrying, fretting, wondering, learning. I discovered how clueless I am and how everything will be a valuable lesson. I asked for the opinions of those closest to me.