Nobody can cheer you up quite the way a mate can. Especially when you’re unemployed and living hand to mouth on the crusty edge of the breadline. Take yesterday, for instance. After my last post I got a lovely comment back from one of the guys. Something along the lines of: ‘Great essay, Ian! I may have a small job for you.’ Wow! Fantastic! Tears of joy and adrenalin coursed down my cheeks. A job! For me! Clearly my mate is in need of my highly under-rated literary genius. Maybe he needs me to draft a business proposal! Or come up with a press release. Jeez, maybe he needs someone to write his Memoirs! Okay, easy tiger, maybe he’s just after a wedding speech, or it could be, he simply needs his CV proof-read. No matter, I’ll take it! It’s all vindication of my change in career! Eagerly I approached him, ‘Sven, old boy. What’ve you got for me? How may I put my sublime skills to use in your service? You merely have to ask, Sir, and it shall be done!’
To which he replied, and I quote: ‘Our grass is getting healthy as the weeks pass – cause no one’s picking up the dog shit!’
‘Sven, you are a rare gem. A scholar and a gentleman. Words fail me….’
Moving swiftly on then to my literary progress. I received my manuscript back from the editor on Monday. Red ink was all but dripping off my computer screen once I opened the file but a lot of her comments were positive. I’ve included the relevant parts below:
‘I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to read this book and to comment on it and I think you are an extremely proficient writer with a really beautiful turn of phrase at times … delete, delete, delete….but you have a real flair for descriptive text … delete, delete, delete.’
‘You have a talent for wonderfully lyrical prose, however…. delete, delete, delete.’
‘I think this is a wonderful story with many great elements. There are magical ‘moments’ in the novel. Some moments are not as … delete, delete, delete.’
Most of her comments centered around my characters, with questions such as: What was X doing up the water tower with a bottle of vodka, a hermit-crab and a tub of Aloe Vera? Why does Y not seem to have a purpose when he drives the tank through the sewage farm? And what made Z act like a complete dork over the missing party balloons, etc, etc? Completely dismissing my explanation that he was a dork and that’s what dorks do when they’re awake.
She also seemed to get quite confused in places but I don’t think she’s been editing for that long so I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and stick with her for now.
As to next steps: I’m going through her suggestions and corrections this week. Next week I’m going to sit with her and triangulate some of her comments with the comments made by a friend who kindly ‘beta’ read the manuscript before I sent it to the editor. A ‘beta’ reader is basically someone you trust who reads the manuscript through with a view to critiquing the plot rather than the language. You’re aiming for an objective and independent viewpoint with this! From there it may take me a few weeks to implement and get approval from The Grinch for all the changes. Once that’s done I’ll get down to the nitty-gritty of formatting for kindle etc.
In-between all this I’m still wrestling with a cover. When you don’t have many resources this is a pretty tough nut to crack: I recently found what could well be the perfect pic to use on the cover – at the bargain basement price of R5000. Yup R5k for a photie that I would have to tweak! Needless to say the search continues….
Have a good weekend. The Sharks are due for a big one! I fear the real sardine run may begin on Saturday…!