So here’s something I didn’t plan for: Finding an editor.
I’ve been working on a bunch of short stories and I thought I’d get a few edited. Test the water. Get into the swing of this writing bullshit. Whack a few of the fuckers on Amazon for free and then wait for Ridley Scott’s lawyer to email me with a seven-figure offer for the rights. That’s how it works, yeah?
I did a little Googling and found a couple of people I liked the sound of. I emailed them with a brief ‘Hi, I’ve got these few short stories and I need an editor etc…’ Nothing more. Kept it simple. Not one of the bastards replied. And here I am, offering hard cash for a little of their (supposed) wisdom.
Fuck ‘em, I thought. Which was quite comforting, but then reality hit. What do I do now?
I’m loathed to pay someone who won’t reply to emails or someone who classes themselves an expert in literature because they read Pride & Prejudice once. I’m sure there are many good editors out there, but I’m sure there are just as many (if not more) charlatans.
“Yeah Jack, I’ll edit your short stories for you.”
*Opens Word ’97 and corrects all the underlined red and blue bits. Leaves it three weeks to give the illusion he’s hard at work on my beloved story.*
“That’ll be £100 please.”
You know what? That’s a pretty good business idea. If/When I am made redundant, I think I’ll open my own shoddy editing business…I’ll call it “Jack’s Crap Editing.”
“Hi there, you’re through to JCE. How may we service you today?”
But in all seriousness, my prose is odd, jerky. Sometimes I get a little wordy (Amis influence), sometimes I get a little psychedelic (Herbert influence) and sometimes I just get plain blunt (unsure where that comes from). I imagine it would benefit from a good editor. But who?
This is uncharted territory for me. I have no friends to point me in the right direction and Google is a minefield of keywords and dicks who are above replying to an email.
I am (if you have not worked out already) a control freak. The thought of giving my work to a stranger to rip up is terrifying. What if they don’t get it? They’d better not change the part with the dead dog. Will they be offended at the three-way fisting scene or that bit with the ham sandwich and the graphic calculator?
When I read back on a lot of my writing, I cringe the same way I do when I hear my voice on a tape recorder. Do I really write like that?
I’m too close to appreciate the good, and even though some parts may not be that weak, I have convinced myself they are giant, unsolvable problems. I feel like a tailor who can see nothing but the stitching on his finished suits.
But at least my hair is looking nice today, so I guess it’s not all terrible.
Anyway, what about you, Internet Friends? Have you any advice?