I waited with baited breath, and I waited, and then I waited some more. Finally it popped through my letter box! It was the editor’s report which I had commissioned from the online writers service. I had used this company because they were cheap. There are many different companies on the net offering the earth and just as many who will rip you off.
It’s always a gamble when you use an unknown company and even more so when all they have is an online presence. I took the gamble half expecting never to see any value for my money. Nobody wants to lose fifty quid, but it was a risk I needed to take because I needed some professional advice on where I was going wrong.
I opened the A4 envelope as I sat down. I pulled out two sheets of A4 paper and started to read. It was short and not very sweat, hard hitting, but truthful. A first I felt dejected so what does one do in this type of situation? I made myself a cup of tea.
I read the report a second time over a steaming mug. This time I started to feel more confident because I realised that if I made some of the basic changes as recommended then I would turn what was a good manuscript into a fantastic story.
The most basic recommendation was to shorten my story. My first draft was 112,000 words long. My second draft I shortened to 96,000, and then the third to 90,000 to enter various competitions. The report stated I should reduce it down to about 60,000 words which were suitable for my target market.
The second recommendation was to beef up the main male character in the story. I don’t know who the person was that wrote the report, the only thing I knew was it was a women. As she stated, ‘sometimes the male character sounds feeble to the point where I want to throttle him.”
These two bits of advice were to change the whole shape of my manuscript as I embarked on let another redraft.