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Posted By Michelle Birbeck

So I’m in the middle of the final edits for Last Chance, and one thought occurred to me; I love my editor. She tells me everything straight, isn’t afraid to pull her punches, and gives me everything I need to know in language I understand.

Now, I’ve done my A Levels in English Language and Literature, and I got a high B in both of them. But I always had one problem with them; the language. For me it’s like trying to remember names. Introduce me to Fred, Jack, and Melissa, and ten minutes later, I’m sat wondering who the hell all these people are. I just don’t do names. It takes ages, and countless tries to do so.

How does that affect editing? Well, having someone tell me that my prepositions and my verbs are backwards is going to mean very little to me. I would have to look them up in order to work out what words you were referring to. Now if you told me my doing words were all wrong, I’d know what you were talking about. It’s not that I’m stupid or daft in the head, I just learn a different way to most of the people I know.

I learn by doing. So in order to pass my A Levels, I spent hours sat with a notepad and pen writing down the technical terms and their meanings over and over again. And then I reversed it and wrote down their meanings and then their names. It’s the only way they stuck long enough for me to do anything with them.

So editing the first book was a bit of a chore in places. It was all technical terms and proper names for everything, and quite frankly, there were times when it gave me a headache. Of course, that could have been the sixteen hour days in front of the computer.

Editing this time around has been fantastic. It’s all been in easily managed chunks, one chapter at a time. And everything has been put in a way that I not only understand, but in a way that is clicking in my head like magic. Everything is working. I don’t have a headache when I’m making changes, and I understand why the changes need to be there.

With just fourteen weeks until Last Chance is out, and all the heartache that’s come with everything that happened, I am extremely glad of one thing; my editor. She is an absolute star.

Now I just need to persuade her to come work with me again for the next book.

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