Wednesday 24 April 2013

Win a Free Edit worth $60/£40

This week I have something very special
for all you writers out there -
 Andrea Harding from Express Editing Solutions
is offering a free 10k word edit to one lucky person for their manuscript or short story worth $60/£40!!
Below, Andrea has written a wonderful guest post about how she came to be
an editor. Beneath the post you can find out how to enter the competition.
My mother, affectionately nicknamed Mammacat (we’re a cat kind of family), retired last year, after 38 years of teaching. She taught children aged 5-11 and was head of Literacy for many years. Recently, we were discussing my editing. She asked me why writers don’t just learn how spell and use grammar correctly. I tried to explain it to her in terms that she’d understand.

You see, when those tiny little budding minds that she’s so used to teaching sit down to take tests and exams at the tender age of seven, they do something called ‘the long write’. The long write is usually a story composition of some kind; it is marked on different criteria, and the resulting piece of work is given a ‘Level’, usually between 1 and 3 (with 3 being awarded to the highest achievers). Children who attain a Level 2 might have simply wonderful stories, but they might not have yet mastered the art of using a sentence, correct spellings or punctuation. The children who attain Level 3 can do all of these things and more, but sometimes their imaginations are somewhat lacking, and their stories are dull as dishwater.

This is how I explained the relationship between authors and editors: authors are your Level 2 children, their minds overflowing with wonderful characters and stories that are just aching to spill out onto the page; sometimes so much so that things like spelling, grammar, punctuation are forgotten, unimportant, barriers that their stories have to hurdle to be indelibly set onto a page. Editors, however, are Level 3 children, sometimes lacking in their own ideas, but with a great attention to detail, a phenomenal capacity for rules and their application.

Anyway, I told Mammacat not to question it; my skills would be surplus to requirements if all authors were Level 3s.

If you asked me how I came to start editing, I don’t think I’d be able to actually tell you. Before I started busying myself with trying to help people improve on them, I read an extraordinary amount of books. I believe last year I actually read somewhere in the region of 180 of the things. I just can’t get enough. But with the dawn of a new technological age and the birth of the Kindle and other e-readers, I discovered more and more books with more and more errors in them.

Mammacat and I have a history of needing to be separated at functions such as weddings and funerals, because we would end up pointing out and giggling at typos in the programs; we photographed and shared badly sign-written vans we have been sat behind at traffic lights and plaques that beggar belief; it was hardly surprising that I became one of those annoying/helpful (delete as applicable) people who started emailing authors with lists of errors I had found in their books.

One such author was Griffin Hayes, who has not just become one of my favourite authors, but also a valued friend; he was the one that pushed me to push myself, recommending that I set up on a freelance basis.
I love working with a variety of authors who write within a range of different genres. Some people have commented that my low pricings are unprofessional, but at the end of the day, I already have a day job: I can pay my bills. I edit for the love of a good book; it’s my hobby, my passion and where my real talent lies. If I can pass all of that on to authors who might not necessarily be able to afford the expense of an editor who charges prices that make people cringe or by the hour, then why shouldn’t I do so? I certainly can’t think of a reason.
To find out more, visit Andrea's website: Express Editing Solutions
Winner to be announced May 15th 2013
 If you'd like win an amazing 10,000 word edit from Express Editing Solutions, all you have to do is leave a comment below stating why you would like the prize.
(Closing date May 8th 2013. Winner to be announced here on 15th May. The winner must respond within 7 days or the prize will be offered to someone else)