No wonder Graham Greene
said, ‘It is as
difficult to write simply, as it is to be good.’
Perhaps this losing of the ego, this desire for
direct and pure communication with the reader is
the journey of the writer.
One for the writing road.
day I will find the right words and they will be
simple.’ Jack Kerouac.
And from Sibelius, the Finnish composer:
‘You must live through
every note you write. And there must be no dead
It is the editor’s job to eliminate the dead
notes clogging the music of your writing.
Fees: $95 per 3,000 words.
Contact Rose about Manuscript Editing
Here is an example of a writer
trying too hard.
‘His old coat, now tattered and soiled,
enshrouded most of him save for his wrinkled
neck and head, itself wearing a face ruddied by
too many unkind years. A pair of baggy and
equally grimy trousers separated the coat from
his derelict shoes, the left of which, having
lost its lace, was held together by wire.’
(Excerpt from a published short story)
‘tattered and soiled’, ‘unkind years’.
Self conscious literary language: ‘enshrouded’,
Clumsy language: ‘itself wearing a face..’,
‘baggy and equally grimy’, ‘the left of which’,
‘trousers separated the coat from..’.
This writing is clumsy and cluttered. But there
is one striking detail, the shoe held together
by wire. That alone is a telling and unusual
detail, indicating hardship and poverty. And
there is no sentimentality, or authorial telling
attached to it.
No two editors will revise this text in the same
way. But I am sure they would rid the text of
the above examples and the new version would be
simpler, shorter and more powerful.
‘His face was red and wrinkled from constant
exposure to the wind and rain. His coat was
filthy and his trousers baggy. His shoes were
dilapidated, the left one held together by
for the empathic and considered corrections you made to
‘The Pole’, my first chapter. As you say, it flows now
and with your help I have been able to express my
feelings with the experiences. The process and your
company have given me a lot of joy, fun and laughter.
‘Thank you for your thoughtful
editing of a difficult manuscript and invaluable advice
on the finer points of presentation. What an enjoyable
‘I really do like what you have done with my manuscript,
helping me find a coherent structure, tidying it up and
calming me down, I mean the text. It was all a bit
rampant wasn’t it!’
David, ‘Fun, Physics and
‘I know I have a tendency to
include far too much in a sentence and repeat myself.
And there is so much material to deal with it becomes
hard to sort it all out. You have helped me to cut
through to the main argument and it has all become a lot
clearer. You’ve also kept the tone I want, which is
urgent, respectful of the reader and honest.’
‘The Bible Decoded’
for showing me how to create magic with my writing. It
has been such a joy to work with you.’
Annie, ‘Walk it Out, A Kokoda Experience.