The things an editor teaches you

For the last few days I’ve been working on the edits for The Dead Hamlets, the second book in the Cross series. This is the first time I’ve had the same editor for two books in a row (cheers for Kelsi Morris), and it’s been a real learning experience for me. A real learning experience in that it points out all my weaknesses as a writer.

My favourite notes so far go something along the lines of: “Sure, your character says this now, but on page xx of The Mona Lisa Sacrifice, he said this. So which is it?”


“I’m really glad to see this character from The Mona Lisa Sacrifice return. Could you re-introduce her in a more interesting manner?”

OK, I’m paraphrasing a little. But they’re good notes that kick my ass nevertheless. Sometimes you need someone to tell you “I know you can do this better.”

Today I came to a scene where Cross has to visit a certain British institution at night for the purposes of the plot. Did I fact-check when this particular institution closes? No. Why on earth would I do something so sensible? Did my editor? Yes. Suddenly, the scene doesn’t work. Damn you, ChiZine, for hiring smart, capable people. So I spent some time reworking the timeline of events to make things match reality. And here I thought I was writing books to escape reality.

You’ll all be glad to know The Dead Hamlets is a better book because of this fine editing. And I have learned a valuable lesson from it.

Never write anything that can be fact-checked ever again.

Also, I love diving back into this book again. This is going to be a fun read.



Have you read…?

Boy Eating

The Mona Lisa Sacrifice

The first book in the Cross series, featuring the enigmatic character of Cross, the man who woke up in Christ’s body after Christ left the earth to wherever it was he went. Written under the alias Peter Roman. Because, you know, Christ, Romans….

Click here for more details.

About Peter Darbyshire (Roman)

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Posted on July 8, 2014, in Peter Roman, The Writing Life. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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