I don’t know where to begin… (or, a day in the life of a Children’s Publishing Consultant)

March 16, 2017

Categories: editing, writing

Retro Vintage We are Open Typographical background, Vector design

In the words of Icehouse, or later from Missy Higgins, I don’t know where to begin, but this is all that I know… (more…)

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Editing in the garden

December 28, 2010

Categories: editing, edward scissorhands, gardening

Santa gave me a pair of long-handled tree loppers for Christmas and yesterday I tested them out.
It began with just a little snip here. The blades slid through the small branches of the rhododendron tree outside my bedroom window.
I moved on to another tree there. Same deal.
Then I moved to the front of the garden where an untidy bushy tree had inserted itself some years ago and had never been dealt with.
I lopped and chopped.
Edward Scissorhands had nothing on me.
I found the tree had sent out suckers and started another tree nearby, so more chopping – all to the tune of Bleak House courtesy of Radio National.
At some point I stood back to view my handiwork.
What was revealed was the beautiful trunk of a nearby tree that had been suffocating under the clinging arms of the intruder.
Editing stories are similar. Sometimes the beauty and simplicity of a story can be lost under the weight of padding, cliches, dialogue that does not further the story or repetitive prose when a single sentence will do.
It can be the most satisfying stage in writing a story.

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Marathon Editing

July 30, 2008

Categories: editing, stories

I have just finished a marathon edit of a story. By editing from beginning to end without a break, I find plot inconsistencies are clearer than if editing over several sessions. Does anyone else find this to be true? While I am itching to edit during my first read, I try to lose myself in the story and just enjoy it. By the second read, I am ready for a full-on editing session, working up a style dictionary as I go. At this point I am not looking for a copy edit, but will take these cxns in as I see them. Rather, I am looking for the plot to make sense, for the characters to ring true and for a sense of satisfaction by the end of the story. Does anyone else have any editing quirks they would like to share?

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When is a book tweaked for OS market and when does it start being a different book?

May 16, 2008

Categories: culture shock, editing


Chasing Boys has been picked up by a US publisher and initial consultations suggested there were 3 issues that needed addressing before it was published. These were minor and I was happy to go along with them. I received the full proofs yesterday and was slightly alarmed by the amount of editing marks on the page. A lot of these marks referred to spaced em dashes and double quotes and Mom instead of Mum. Others were colloquial Australian words or even just words from the English language that have not translated from Australian English to American English (school bursar became vice principal, quadrangle became running track, bowling club became mini golf) where the intent of the words was changed. I have grown up on a diet of American culture through TV, Film and Music. It was therefore a surprise when I realised the level of difference that exists between our two cultures. I wonder if anyone else has come across this phenomenon? Do Australian publishers radically change text when buying in overseas titles? (I’ve used Vegemite as an Aussie icon but of course we don’t own it anymore…)

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