Monday, 30 March 2009

The editor has spoken

The fight

A little while ago I reported the journey of Moonwalking (intro chapter) as it ventured cross-country without me. Well, on Saturday it returned: a little bruised, a little battered, limping and blurry. But it returned. My editor, you see, as promised, had edited. And edited thoroughly, with a nice loose pen. Hardly a page survived unscathed.

But - and it's taken years of criticism to realise this - it's all good.

Can't cope without it

Without comments like Susy's, Moonwalking has no chance of getting published. To use a moon metaphor, holding the manuscript back from an editor would be like Buzz and Neil choosing not to take Michael Collins along with them in 1969. True, he wasn't going to Moonwalk or drive flags into the dust, but his role in the moon landing process was probably the most important of them all.

Without Mike, Apollo 11 may not have become the first craft to land on the moon; Neil and Buzz may never have made their names in space travel. And it was his flying skills that gave the boys their journey home. Without Susy and criticism, my book may never have attracted publishers. Ok, it hasn't yet but it has more chance with a professional editor on board.

Problems

Terrible metaphors aside, the introduction to the book is due an astronomical rethink. These aren't the editor's words: she was far more tactful. But the structure definitely needs something: a big explosion and then crafting back together. At the moment, as Susy explains in scrawl, it's just a bit dull.

Solutions

Down with convention. Away with plodding narrative, predictable twists, cliched set-ups and knock backs. Moonwalking should be the first travel book to take the reader on an interactive ride. Where? We shouldn't be sure. How? Good question. But why? Because it's the best way to get to know the full-moon - through unimaginable links, under moonlit skies, along twisting paths.

If websites are stealing books and their conventions, why not write a book that steals the best bits of websites and blogs? Short, snappy facts. Funny anecdotes. Profiles. A bit of history. In essence, it will be a blog that I'll charge you lots of money for. We're all winners.

The next problem

I just need to convince a publisher now...

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