Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Up to My Neck in It Now

I had an interesting experience last week that has landed me, I fear, in to a lot of work. I’m looking forward to it, however. You see, it’s payback time, and I have plenty to pay back.

I had read 80 pages of a book that I intended to review. I could tell early on that this story had first been written as a screenplay, and then adapted to a novel format. It reads exactly like a screenplay, not that there is anything wrong with that. The problem was that, no matter how talented a screenwriter this author is, he (I won’t mention names) is a rank amateur when it comes to writing prose. I’ve never seen a book in print that could compare, and a single Google search reassured me that the book had been self-published, and had never seen a competent editor.

Although I had enjoyed the story to that point, I felt that the writing was so bad there was simply no way I could give this book more than a two, or three at best, star review. I sent an email to the author telling him just that, and asking if he wanted me to continue, based on the knowledge that I would rate the review pretty low.

The author responded to say that I should not review it, and asked for suggestions on what to do about the prose. I sent him the name of a book on writing that had help me early on, and recommended that he learn his craft better, and rewrite the book.

Well it seems he is taking my advice. And when I offered to proofread the new chapters and make suggestions, he jumped at it. So it seems I will be helping a fellow writer edit his novel. Not sure how long this will take, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve been help in the past by a few colleagues, most notably Victor J. Banis, who volunteered weeks of his time to help me edit Match Maker. And Sally Miller is currently helping me edit another WIP.

Yes, I have a lot to pay back, and I’m very grateful to be able to help a fellow writer along the path.

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