Monday 7 February 2011

In the words of Stephen King…

To write is human, to edit is divine.

Since making the decision to put some of my work out alone, I’ve discovered something about myself. As much as I can spot problems in other people’s work, I am hopeless at doing the same thing for my own writing. It’s as if I’m just too close to the piece and I’m only seeing what I think should be there, instead of what it actually says.

Because of this I’ve decided to hire an editor to do my final edits for me. I was lucky enough to meet Janelle, from Dawson Editing Services, through a mutual friend. She kindly offered to edit some of my work and I was amazed at what she found. Honestly, I thought I’d edited the arse out of these pieces, and I’d even had other writers go over them, but Janelle still found so much that needed changing.

She described herself to me as a punctuation and grammar freak, and that is exactly what I needed. While my writing might be strong, I’ll agonise for hours over where to put a comma!

Anyway, Janelle is fantastic and I can’t wait to see her transform my stories into tight, professional novels. The editing process is so important, and I know readers will come back for more if the books are professionally edited. Besides, any time I’m not editing can be spent doing what I’m supposed to be doing—actually writing. As I’m working on a ‘flood the market to the point where people HAVE to start noticing me’ promotion plan, the more writing I can get done and actually get out to the readers, the better.

If you would like to contact Janelle to find out how good she is for yourself, you can email her at She is currently offering the first 500 words of your m/s for FREE, and the rest of her prices are extremely affordable.

The reviews for my novels have been coming in thick and fast, and have been fantastic. You can check out the reviews for Alone over at Barnes & Noble, and at Smashwords. Also, Alone is still free to download!

I honestly think reading great reviews by is one of the best things about being a writer (next to seeing actual sales of course!). While I love my friends and family giving me positive feedback about my work, I am always a little sceptical. I mean, they’re hardly going to tell me it sucks (actually, scratch that. My mother would—and has—told me when something blew). But there is still nothing better than discovering, through the wonder that is Google-alerts, someone is raving about your book.

For years I wondered if I was like one of those poor saps on X-Factor (UK equivalent of American Idol) where they are totally convinced they have talent, but actually they can’t hold a tune to save their lives. I’m slowing starting to believe this isn’t the case, and I have really high hopes for this year.


  1. Yay Marissa!! I know -- I'll go over the same sentence like 5,000 times and each go around I'll switch the comma or take out a pronoun or put another in -- ugh! I've seen the reviews for your work and you go girl -- that is so awesome!! I hope this year is amazing for you!

  2. Thanks Nicole! You're always so good to me! Let's hope this year is good for all of us...

  3. As the "said mother", honesty is the best policy. Better to hear it from your mother then someone that matters!!!!

    On a serious side your work is improving leaps and bounds and I never feel that it is just "duty" to read your work, it is a pleasure and I look forward as much to a new Marissa Farrar novel as I do to a new Stephen King.

  4. You cannot beat a good editor. It is difficult to edit one's own work - I find that letting some pieces cool, sometimes weeks, allows me to see many things I hadn't before. The hard part for me is letting it cool that long.

  5. Aw, thanks Mum!
    Erin -- I do the 'letting it cool' thing (often for months because I always end up getting caught up in a new project and forget about the old one). Unfortunately, it just doesn't seem to work for me. It helps, but I still seem to be blind to quite obvious typos!

  6. I always feel that another set of eyes is a great thing with my work. Someone can always catch something I miss or know when I am not consistent with tense or some other flaw I have. Best wishes.