2010 Editing

Not a negotiation

The process of editing is not not a one way transaction. Nor is it a negotiation. Despite the impression some writers give it is not a question of sending the book away and waiting for a reply. There are two different edits, the substantive edit followed by a line edit. They are both an essential part of writing.

It is impossible for a writers to carry out edits on their own work. the very purpose of an edit is not just to find mistakes but to introduce an essential second opinion.

A good editor will have their own ideas on story line, story structure, character development, scene setting, voice and grammar. On many occasions an editor will argue vehemently for change.

My rules

My rules are have been put in place to help me deal with this. I believe they serve this formula and the genre of historical romance laced with adventure and danger. If I was to write a different in a different genre with a different balance I would need a different set of rules.

Of course this means finding an editor who is prepared to deal with an author who has rules and wants to agree the validity of the rules before the start of editing proper.  Rebekah contributed to the finalisation of the rules and Therefore has some sense of “ownership”. She accepts completely that if she wants to make any substantial changes to the way I write about Ximene, she will have to persuade me to change my rules first.


I have not dealt with grammar as there are a myriad of preferences, yes preferences, not rules. However as an example I dislike the word “that” preferring “,which”

Therefore “Ximene wore the mantilla, which had been given to her by her grandmother.” NOT

Ximene wore the mantilla that had been given to her by her grandmother.

Apparently in today’s writing these are totally interchangeable and editors like some variation in use. A series of teachers spent five years beating it into me that I should never use “that” in this context and i just am unable to do it. To me it sounds wrong.

Not universal

I am careful to making a claim that the decisions I have made and the story structure I have decided upon is in any way “universally applicable”. Some of my new and close friends would be mortally offended if I did.

Writers may, however, find it interesting to review the choices I have made. This is the formula I now work to. I am pleased to say that Rebekah and I now both refer to the rules and an increasing proportion of her counselling is concerned with places where I have broken my own rules. It happens!

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The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History