Thursday, 2 August 2007

Editorial Thoughts on Editorial Thoughts

Those, then, are my initial editorial comments to Dave. How do they compare to other editorial notes? Every book is different, and every writer has their strengths and weaknesses to tease out and tighten up. I think Dave has that natural writer thing going, so I'm seeing these comments as more general pointers about shape, rather than about any specifics that need tackling. I always find these notes a bit of a balancing act -- you need to give the writer constructive criticism, but at the same time don't want to knock their confidence. That last point is crucial -- you want the writer to feel good and enjoy working on the book: if they're worried about small details, they (and the book) are never going to get the benefits of writing in full flow. It's very easy to emphasise the negatives and forget the positives, so here's a couple to end with: it's already funny -- the material really made me chuckle; and it's already poignant -- I could relate only too well to the insecurities of being a teenage boy and supporting a lousy team. I'd say it's the writing equivalent of being one up after ten minutes. I'm looking forward to the next instalment.

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