My Writing Journey

The Importance Of Being Edited

Editing can be a minefield, can’t it?

I wasn’t sure whether to write this post, initially, but after recent experiences, I thought, why not air my views, after all, they are only my thoughts, and not law, after all!

Over the last few years, as I have been, (and continue to), hone my writing craft, I have learned so much about writing, and how words can be written and how that impacts upon how readers interpret them.

It means that when I read books, sometimes the pleasure is not as great as it used to be, as I find my technical head switching on, finding errors, or picking up on rookie mistakes.

Don’t get me wrong, I am no expert, by any means, and I fully live by the thought that there are so many rules to writing a ‘good book’, yet if we all wrote by these rules, books would all be uniform, and boring.

(Who wrote these rules, anyway?)

However, good writing doesn’t have to follow the rules, but it must capture the reader.

I am one of those readers who hates to ‘DNF’ a book or mark it as something I did not finish. I know the blood sweat and toil that goes into crafting a book baby, having done it myself, so if I choose to read something, I try my hardest to give it my best shot, even if I am struggling. But now, I have realised that I need to stop if something is not clicking with me.

Sometimes it is just a genre that is not for me.

Fair enough.

I try and give everything a fair shot, but if the genre is not for me, then I’ll not complain or give a bad review of the book. I’ll just park in under my DNF pile and remember not to pick something like that again.

But, when it comes to genres I love, if I can’t engage with the characters, or follow the story smoothly, I tend to delve deeper into the whys of not being able to finish.

And almost 100% of the time it seems to be due to editing – or lack of.

Several indie authors who requested I read their books for feedback or a general review have admitted, after I ask, that they haven’t had an editor read their work.

Not even a set of experienced beta readers.

And, unfortunately, it shows.

Thankfully, most of the time, my feedback is appreciated, after all, I would never shoot another writer down, but I want them to give the best of themselves to the world of books, but sometimes, the defiance and insistence that they write and edit themselves, because they know it is good, means that I wish I hadn’t wasted my time trying to help!

I understand that editing can be an expensive business, but what authors-to-be should remember is that we are too close to our work to edit it, entirely, ourselves.

Maybe, once you have a few books under your belt, and you’ve had helpful feedback from others on your previous work, you are more able to objectively read, spot mistakes or inconsistencies, and change them.

But as a newbie, when you want to make your name in the world of books, you need to present the best writing possible.

As I said, it can be expensive, but there are ways you can get help without spending the earth.

  • Find a couple of readers, trusted readers that aren’t necessarily friends, but people with knowledge of wordcraft, and ask if they will read your work. Think of them as your alpha readers. They are going to give you that first impression of what a reader thinks of your story and writing. It is amazing how many thoughts, questions and mistakes they can pick up, that can improve your initial work before you have even thought about an editor.
  • Find a critique partner who you can send your work to, and whose work you are willing to read and comment upon, too. This can be a better way, as you send work as you are writing, and you could incorporate corrections or suggestions for improvements as you write.
  • Become a member of a writing group, where you can share your writing with others, and gain valuable critiques. As you read others work, you will also become stronger at picking up weak spots or strong sections in your own work.

And something extremely important to remember, however keen your friends, or family are, to read and help you with your book, they may not be the most objective readers for constuctive feedback. Most will be so encouraging, because they are proud you wrote a book.

Some might not know how to say they found parts hard to read or follow, so give you a false sense of security, but you need to remember that it is the public you want to impress with your words, not just your friends and family, if you want to be a succesful author.

This is why finding your writing people is so important, especially for an indie author.

I would still recommend you find at least a developmental editor, who will give you valuable feedback on your story, and whether everything flows, or if there are holes in your plot.

Beta readers can be your proofreading eyes if they are eagle-eyed. They can spot inconsistencies, spelling mistakes and pick up unclear points, too, when you are nearing the end of editing your manuscript if you can’t afford a copy or proofread.

If you don’t know the best way to find an editor, I would recommend asking among writing groups, like on Facebook, or even on your blog. Research them, yourselves, too, as prices can vary greatly, depending on what you want from the editor.

But the most important thing to remember is that as the author of a piece of work, we are too close to our book baby to be objective, especially at the beginning of our writing career. Either you will feel that nothing you write is good, or you won’t be able to sort the chaff from the wheat. Everything you write will appear key to the story. Or you miss things out because you have been living the story, with the characters for so long, you may omit details that a reader needs to know because, in your head, you already know it.

This is why a fresh set of eyes is so important, be it a paid editor, or a fantastic group of readers. They don’t know the backstory of your characters. They can tell you whether something is unnecessary, or if they felt something was missing. They can explain if something you wrote didn’t make sense, or whether they enjoyed it.

Then you take that feedback and use it, objectively, to improve your writing, and give your book baby the best chance of success.

There ends the sermon on The Importance Of Being Edited by Pastor Ritu!

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Marriage Unarranged, My Writing Journey

You Really Read My Book?

It’s been a while, folks, and I apologise for that.

Life, including home improvements, (an eight week stretch of contractors repairing, tweaking and decorating, to get the house shipshape for putting on the market so we can find our forever home), and starting back to school with a new role under my belt, (EYFS Phase Leader and DSL), has meant that I have had little time to devote to the writing side of my persona.

Lockdown initially gave me a boost in creativity, then it sapped it. I found energy to write for a good three weeks, before #ProjectHome began, and got 40,000 words down, then the stress of having people banging, followed by the beginning of a very strange school year, meant that my poor WIP has lain, unopened for almost eight weeks.

I so dearly want to get back to it but I’ve been mentally, physically, and emotionally, shattered.

So, it was, with surprise, that I received a message from someone I know, a few weeks back. Her boss’s boss wanted to extend an invitation to me to be a guest at her book club, because they were going to be reading my book baby, Marriage Unarranged!

Yup, they read that one, above!

I never thought, in a million years, that my book would get chosen as a book club read. I mean, there are so many books out there… fantastic books… yet they chose mine!

It was with a sense of amazement that I replied that I would love to, followed by dread.

  • What if they hated it?
  • What if they slated it?
  • What if they asked questions I couldn’t answer?
  • What if they ask about the next book?

But, I’m not one to shy away from challenges, and this was an opportunity to speak to total strangers, to get opinions from readers who don’t know me at all.

And so, on Friday 16th October, at 8PM, UK time, I sat, loaded glass of pink gin by my side, waiting for the Zoom meeting to start.

Yup, a virtual book club meet, because this particular book club was in the US. A group of ten women who have been meeting up for over twenty years, to read and discuss books.

It connected, and I can say, with relief, joy and a little pride, that the hour we spent, chatting away, supping our respective drinks, went really well.

I was asked about, among other things, my inspiration, how long the book took to write, (you all know that was a long and winding road…), whether I had been to all the places mentioned in the book, who characters were based upon, why characters did certain things, and what next… Marita, who wasa hosting, even brought her own bangles, brought on a trip to India, to share with the rest of the group, when they asked about my mentioning them a lot in the book. We even posed for a virtual selfie! Here’s me with some of the group members. I’m the blurred one on the screen…

An hour disappeared so fast, and afterwards, I found myself laying on my (newly laid, so fluffy) carpet, alternating between smiling inanely, and supping the rest of my goldfish bowl of gin!

Truly, it made my day, week, month, even.

Total strangers read my book, enjoyed it, and actually wanted to speak to me about it. They were even excited that they were speaking to an author, for the first time, at their book club.

Author – as in ME!

It hit me, last night, that I really am an author, and there are folks out there who don’t know me from Adam, yet they trusted my description, and bought my book.

Honestly, in my mind, the only people who bought and read things with my name on, were friends and family…

Sorry?

What was that?

You want to read it, too?

Well, all you have to do is click below. It’s on Amazon, paperback and Kindle, and it is on Kindle Unlimited too!

getbook.at/MarriageUnarranged

I tell you what, it’s given me a real boost. I want to get back to that book two manuscript, and a short novella I am also writing, so I can offer you a freebie if you sign up to my mailing list…

Oh, and while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list?

I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! Oh, and you’ll be the first to know about Book Two, and all the exclusive reveals, too!

You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

Guest Posts

I Have Been Podcasted!

It gives me great pleasure to let you know that I have been featured on a wonderful podcast, Great Writers Share!

Image may contain: Ritu Kaur BP, text that says "NEC THIS WEEK'S GUEST RITU BHATHAL EPISODE #053: MARRIAGE UNARRANGED, SETTING PRIORITIES, FINDING BALANCE, AND POETRY PROSE."

I was honoured to be asked on as a guest, and I hope you have the time to listen.

GWS #53 – Ritu Bhathal

Hello everybody! This week I got to sit down with chick pea lit author Ritu Bhathal!

In this episode we go deep into:

  • • Where Ritu’s journey began
  • • How life can prioritize over writing
  • • Starting a blog on a whim without a plan
  • • Indian family customs
  • • How writing groups and accountability can help lift you up and keep you on track
  • • Publishing Poetry vs a Novel
  • • How having a support system is instrumental in the writing process
  • • Stationary and her vast collection of brush pens
  • • Being realistic when it comes to balancing everyday life and getting words written
  • • What her writing advice is for new writers

Listen now: https://pod.link/1473869415

Image may contain: one or more people, text that says "EPISODE #53 FEATURING RITU BHATHAL GREAT WRITERS SHARE"
Marriage Unarranged, My Writing Journey, Uncategorized

Encouragement Is A Writer’s Best Friend (+ a Birthday #BookSale)

Some writers are lucky, you know.

They get an idea, and the words just seem to flow.

And when one is complete, the next idea arrives, waiting to be transferred from mind to screen/paper.

But not all of us are that blessed.

Well, I say that, but I have the ideas. They aren’t always fully formed, but they are there, ready to come to life on my MacBook.

For me, time is the hugest constraint. Life as a teacher, as well as a wife and mother, coupled in with Covid-19, the lockdown, and to top it off, a HUGE amount of home improvements, means that sometimes I wonder whether it’s worth it…

Then you get messages like this.

And you find that there are readers out there who have actually taken time and effort to write or post about your book. This post by Jazz of @her_reading_nook on Instagram blew me away, and there was another post filled with more images, too!

View this post on Instagram

It’s all in the details [of Marriage Unarranged] 📖♥️🌺 __ Trendy ethnic jewelry from: @saggiparanda 💎🤩 __ 📖Review continued from previous post: *𝚀𝚄𝙾𝚃𝙴 + 𝚂𝚈𝙽𝙾𝙿𝚂𝙸𝚂* Aashi, the protagonist catches her fiance cheating on her so the big fat Punjabi wedding is cancelled but the India trip originally for wedding shopping becomes an adventure with her best friend, Kiran + brothers, Sunny & Bali: “Sunny was painfully aware of how hard it was for Aashi to forget the original reason for the trip. Dotted around the various shops were reminders of bridal accessories they should have been buying. The ℂℍ𝕌ℝ𝔸, 𝔹ℝ𝕀𝔻𝔸𝕃 𝔹𝔸ℕ𝔾𝕃𝔼𝕊 their mamaji (uncle) would have been slipping on her wrists. 𝕂𝔸𝕃𝕀ℝ𝔼𝕐, 𝔻𝔸ℕ𝔾𝕃𝕀ℕ𝔾 𝕆ℝℕ𝔸𝕄𝔼ℕ𝕋𝕊 he & Bali would have added to her wrists, which as they dropped off, she would give to her single cousins & friends, with the blessing that they would get married soon too” -Marriage Unarranged📖 Swipe: #IndianFashionHistory #PunjabiFashionHistory On the flight to New Delhi, Aashi falls asleep on a stranger, Arjun! Is Arjun about to be her rebound or soulmate? So bollywood. So brown girl! 🙋🏽‍♀️ 𝚃𝙷𝙾𝚄𝙶𝙷𝚃𝚂: Love the brother+ sister relationship portrayed between Aashi & Sunny (eldest bro) + Bali (younger one). Just in time for #happyRakhi / #Rakhri which means “to protect”, a traditional Indian holiday celebrating brother +sister bond where the sister ties a thread on the brother’s wrist signifying the brother’s promise of being there for his sister through thick & thin 🌺 as a token of love, the brother gives money/ gift in return for the thread💓 Grab a copy of this light read, travel to New Delhi, India & add this beautiful book cover to your reading nook for future #sHelfies 🤳🏻💃🏿 Rom com/ Chick lit isn’t my go to genre but this is like reading a bollywood movie & we all could use a little bollywood/ fairy tale during this time🙃 feel me! • • • #MarriageUnarranged #RituBhathal #AuthorAdmiration #☕️andBooks #I❤️TheSmellofFreshPages #BookBehavior #RomCom #ChickLit #IndianAuthor #PunjabiAuthor #Bookstagram #DiverseBooks #DiverseReaders #Bookish #TheBookLook #BookBlogger #bookstagramIndia #PunjabiWedding #IndianFashion #punjabijewellery #indianjewelry #SonjaAndOve

A post shared by Jazz (@her_reading_nook) on

And it makes your effort feel worthwhile.

Then, you get little comments from authors your love and respect like this…

Thank you, Zoe!

It spurs you on to try and write more.

This summer holiday has whizzed by, and I grabbed the bull by the horns. I had time, a little, at least, to devote to my writing.

My aim was 40,000 in four weeks.

I didn’t quite hit that, but I was close, and, considering I’ve spent the last week and a half manically demolishing furniture, having a ma-hoo-sive clear out and stocking the local charity shops with copious amounts of donations, and visiting B & Q many times to buy boxes, choose tiles, and bathroom suites etc, I’m not going to beat myself up over not quite hitting my self-imposed target!

I managed 37, 869 words!

I’ve also had my cover comissioned and more or less designed, ready to go, to spur me on. No, I can’t share that yet. Let me get the book written first!

And, what with my birthday, next week, I decided to have a little sale on Marriage Unarranged, so if you haven’t already, grab a Kindle copy for 99p/99c on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk! From Friday 28th August, to Thursday 3rd September. Go on, make a writer’s day, buy a copy!

https://getbook.at/MarriageUnarranged

Oh, and while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list?

I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! Oh, and you’ll be the first to know about Book Two, and all the exclusive reveals, too!

You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

Marriage Unarranged

When Your Mum Speaks – Mum Chats about My Book!

This month marks my debut novel, Marriage Unarranged’s six month birthday. And I am excited that it has sold almost 200 copies, and gained nearly 50 reviews on Amazon.

Each comment from a reader is so important, to me. In fact, I recently had an unofficial Book Club meet with some friends of mine, who had read it, and wanted to chat book. That was exciting!

But one of the biggies for me, was knowing what my mother thought.

I attribute my love of words and books to my mum. She surrounded us with books and stories from such a young age. So, when she told me she was reading it, I sat, waiting for her feedback.

I didn’t hold my breath until she finished, because I would have been dead.

One thing my mum isn’t nowadays, is a fast reader, so, it was with great pomp and circumstance that she announced that she had finally finished reading it, a couple of weeks ago.

And her announcement was timed well, as we were coming to visit them, so I thought, why not grab the bull by the horns, and ask her for her frank thoughts on her daughter’s first ever novel?

Me: So, Mum, what did you think?

Mum: It was beautifully written and I think you captured the traditions and culture really well. It’s an eye opener for anyone reading it. I felt an awful lot of nostalgia while reading, remembering our trip to India. At first there was an element of shock, as a mother, with some naughty scenes, but after a while, I got used to it. (Read a bit further down for my Pops’ response to this comment!)

Me: What about the subject matter?

Mum: The book tackles a lot of issues that are there, hidden, within the Indian community. I think you’re quite brave to tackle subjects that are taboo within the community, like Sunny and his questions about his sexuality, and being a single parent, too. As older generation Indians, we tend to sweep things like that under the carpet.

Me: Did you have a favourite part?

Mum: I really enjoyed the end, when the parents discovered where their daughter’s happiness lies. Not many Indian parents would be happy to see their girl with a guy already with a child.

The India bits took me back twenty-odd years, to our trip when we were planning and shopping for your wedding.

Me: Who is your favourite character?

Mum: Aashi, because she is so sensitive to everyone’s feelings, and thoughtful.

Me: Do you want to read more?

Mum: Yes! I want to know what happens, next!

I am so glad she enjoyed it!

I’ll tell you something else… Even my Pops has started reading it! He actually insisted my mum get him his own paperback copy, so he could read it at his own pace (very, very slow!)

I thought I’d ask him what he thought…

Me: So, Pops what are you thinking about the book?

Pops: I read two chapters. But it’s been so long since I read them, I can’t remember enough… I’ll have to read it again. And now, with you writing another, I’ll have to read it soon!

He was listening to Mum and me talking, and when she mentioned the, ahem, naughty scenes, he piped up “Yeah, I was so shocked, that’s why I haven’t read more!” then he laughed!

I loved being able to talk frankly about my writing to them. And even discussing the second book with Mum was fun. She added her spin and ideas to what I am in the middle of writing.

So, what about you? Have you read Marriage Unarranged?

If you have, I’d love for you to leave a review. Reviews are what spur us authors on!

And, if you haven’t, then why not grab your copy now?

Here’s the blurb.

It all started ended with that box…

Aashi’s life was all set.

Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something…

https://getbook.at/MarriageUnarranged

Oh, and while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list?

I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! Oh, and you’ll be the first to know about Book Two, and all the exclusive reveals, too!

You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

Marriage Unarranged

Happy Fictional Father’s Day!

As writers, we create characters. And for the most part, those characters are human. They have families too.

Today, I want to celebrate the fathers that I have shaped, within my writing.

When I began writing Marriage Unarranged, I knew there would be a father or two in the book. After all, Aashi is a very family orientated girl, and hers would be a key character.

My characters, generally aren’t based on a specific person, but there may be different elements of people I’ve encountered along the way that make their way into the personailities I create.

Mohinder, Aashi’s father, or Daddy-ji, as his children lovingly call him, is heavily based upon my own dad. There are differences, but the essence of my Pops is embedded within this character.

I loved writing him, and as the book grew, so did his part in it. Mohinder was the elder voice of reason. He was the calm, understanding parent, compared to the more traditional, and often fraught Harjit, a typical Indian immigrant mum.

Ravi’s father, Harpal, is a a rather hen-pecked individual, who is used to his wife Gurmeet, taking over everything. I felt that there needed to be a character who felt the shame of his son’s dishonesty. Had Aashi married into this family, I am sure he would have been a fantastic father-in-law.

Right now, I am creating a rather different father figure, within book two. One who has tunnel vision where his children are concerned. Less emotional, more concerned with his business and how his family come across to the world. Dev Tagore is the father of Milan, an up and coming fashion designer in Delhi. He’ss quite hard for me to write, as he is nothing like the father I have had, and one I wouldn’t wish upon any child. But fathers like that do exist. Here’s hoping he sorts himself out by the end of the book!

So, there you have some of my fictional fathers. I’m sure, in my created world, they are all celebrating father’s day in their own ways.

Is there any literary father that has stayed with you, in any books you’ve read?

If you want to meet Mohinder, as well as many other colourful characters, click here to check out Marriage Unarranged.

Oh, and while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

Guest Posts

5 Editing Terms All Indie Authors Should Know #GuestPost by Claire Jennison

As a writer, we have the craft to create worlds, characters, and their stories. Inside our heads, those stories run like an all-singing, all-dancing movie. (Well, they do in mine…) but do our words convey this same effect for a reader?

Often, we are so close to the story we have created, it is hard to spot where we may need to make changes, add or remove items, spot crutch words (Oh, I have compiled a list, a mile long, of mine).

This is where editing comes in.

And as an Indie author, I remember the mind boggling at the different aspects of editing; the different stages that your book baby goes through, to become a polished piece of prose, ready to be presented to the world.

With this in mind, I am delighted to invite professional editor, Claire Jennison of Penning and Planning to step up and give us a brief outline of some of the jargon we will encounter on our second leg to publication… EDITING! Away you go, Claire!

Claire Jennison of Penning and Planning

Are you an author planning to self publish? Does some of the jargon associated with editing confuse you? If so, this blog will help!

As an indie author, you need to know exactly what editing terms, phrases and descriptions mean if you are considering using a professional editor to edit your book(s) – which you definitely should! This blog outlines and explains some common terms, demystifying the jargon often used in association with professional editing.

For example:

  • Is line editing different to copy editing?
  • What does developmental editing mean?
  • What is a Frankenstein edit?

The answers to these questions will become clear in this post!

Here is a list of 5 editing terms all indie authors should know:

  1. Sample Edit

A professional editor should offer a sample edit before they agree to edit your full manuscript/you decide to book them as your editor. Some editors offer free sample edits (usually between 500-1000 words) and some charge a set fee for sample edits (which may be then deducted off the cost of the full edit should you choose to book them).

A sample edit ensures you, as the author:

  • Know what level of editing your book needs
  • Understand what is included in the editing service
  • Feel the editor is a good fit for you and your book
  • Feel reassured the editor understands the genre expectations of your book
  • Are given a transparent price and timeframe for the editing work involved
  • Are able to evaluate the impact the edit could have on the whole manuscript

A sample edit also ensures the editor:

  • Feels you are a good fit for working together
  • Your book is ready for professional intervention
  • Feels their skills and knowledge can improve the book

Some editors will ask for a sample from the beginning of your novel, others may ask for a sample from the middle, and others may request your full manuscript and edit a section of their choosing. It depends on the editor. If a professional editor refuses to complete a sample for you, whether free or paid, I would seriously question whether they are the right editor for you.

2. Line/Copy Editing

Line editing and copy editing are usually interchangeable terms, but different editors may still mean different things when referring to each. Make sure you ask what is included in the editing service they recommend you need.

Generally, line/copy editing usually focuses on:

  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar corrections
  • Correcting incorrect words and adding missed words
  • Consistent formatting e.g. how dates/times are written
  • Character name/description/distinguishing feature(s) consistency
  • Removing writing clutter (How to cut the clutter for page-turning prose will help with this!)

3. Developmental/Structural Editing

As with line/copy editing, developmental editing and structural editing are usually interchangeable terms, but different editors may have a preference for one term or the other. Again, make sure you are clear what developmental/structural changes your editor will address in your manuscript.

Generally, development/structural editing usually focuses on big picture issues such as:

  • Plot order
  • Major plot holes
  • Pace of the book
  • Plausibility of events
  • Loose/unnecessary story threads
  • Adding or removing scenes if necessary

4. Track Changes

Track Changes is a function of Microsoft Word that most editors use, as it’s standard practice to edit manuscripts in Word. It allows editors to make changes to the body text in your manuscript, as well as add comments/suggestions using comment bubbles in the right-hand margin. Track Changes keeps track of all the amendments and suggestions for you to review when the manuscript is returned to you, which you can then accept or reject as you see fit.

5. Frankenstein Edit

A Frankenstein edit is exactly what you might imagine it to be – an embroidery of sample edits from different editors in order to get a manuscript edited for free. Needless to say, this is not good practice! Even if you think your book only needs a light line/copy edit, it is still impossible to ensure consistency throughout a full manuscript if different editors have edited different sections. In fact, it’s more likely to throw up even more problems as each editor will have their own style of editing based on their individual training and experience. Quite simply, don’t do it!

I really hope 5 Editing Terms All Indie Authors Should Know has been helpful to you as an indie author. If it has, please check out my other writing related blogs at https://penningandplanning.com/blog/

Thank you so much, Claire, for breaking down some of the intricacies of editing for us all. I hadn’t even heard of the Frankenstein Edit! Sounds rather scary, to be honest, and I can see why that wouldn’t be the best option (shouldn’t even be an option!), though with the costs sometimes being high to self publish, i can understand some inexperienced writers trying to take these cheaper shortcuts. My advice? DON’T! When you’ve spent all that time writing your story, why skimp on the editing, which will give it that polish?

And, if you want more advice, Claire has a book out, helping writers give their writing that edge, right from the beginning,

A little about Claire

As well as being an editor, proofreader and formatter, I’m an indie author too. This means I know exactly how you feel about self publishing your book. Don’t worry – we’re in this together.

I’ve been a professional editor since 2018, but I’ve been writing (and reading) obsessed since childhood. I’m an introvert and tend to live inside my own head, which is ideal for nurturing my overactive imagination!

Before creating Penning and Planning, I taught English and English literature for over 12 years, as a qualified teacher, after completing my English and Creative Writing degree. Although I possessed many transferable skills from my teaching career, I have invested in many editing, proofreading and formatting training courses over the past two years to ensure my author clients receive the best service I can possibly offer and deliver.

My professional training includes a wide range of editing, proofreading and writing courses from trusted, reputable and inspiring sources: CiEPThe PTCThe NovelryJericho WritersSelf Publishing 101 (taught by six figure indie author Mark Dawson), Plan Your Plot (taught by bestselling author Laura Jane Williams), and Self Publishing Formula’s How to Write a Bestseller (taught by bestselling author Suzy K Quinn). 

Alongside running my business, I have been a member of my local lottery funded and community interest writing group for two years. Collaboratively, we self published an anthology of short stories – Another Time Another Place – in January 2020, and our second anthology of crime based stories – Red Herrings and Blind Alleys – was published in May 2020.

Find Claire on:

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