I’m over the blog-block and into editing

EditingI had a bit of blog-block last week and couldn’t think of a single thing that had happened to me that was interesting enough to share with the world. Happily, I’m back to being a narcissist this week and have something to talk about that at least interests me enough to write about it, even if it doesn’t grab the imagination of the blogosphere.

I signed my contract for Bodies! (UPDATE – Name change! Bodies is now called If I Should Lose You) Cue opening of very expensive champagne bottle. I know in a previous blog I mentioned it would be published in August 2012 as the publisher and I had reached a verbal agreement but we hadn’t gone through all the contratual to-ings and fro-ings. Happily, that process was painless (thanks to having an agent) and is now complete and I’m one very happy little author.

All of which means the editing process is about to begin. I actually enjoy the editing process – people often ask me about this, wondering how I can stand for someone to dissect my book and tell me what needs fixing. But editing isn’t like that at all, not if you have a good editor. I had a wonderful editor on What is Left Over, After; she made me a much better writer because she taught me how to look at my book as if I was not the author, but merely a disinterested party. I strongly believe that the things I learned from her helped make the writing of Bodies a much quicker process than the writing of What is Left Over, After. Of course, it could just be that, as with all things, the more you practise, the better you get. But that does not hold true for all authors – how many times have you really enjoyed a first or second book by a writer only to discover that they’ve lost their touch by the third or fourth? I hope that doesn’t happen to me!

This time around, I won’t be working with the same editor. The publisher is pairing me up with a lady from Sydney and I’m very excited about this because I’m hopeful of learning more new things from her. Yes, it would have been lovely and safe to be working with the same editor again. But a different set of opinions, a different viewpoint and a different editor is an opportunity to be seized with both hands. Because we all, especially me, want Bodies to be the best book it can be. And here is a way to help make that happen.

So, from September to December I won’t be doing a lot of work on book number three; it will be all about editing for me. I find it hard to work on two books at once as shifting voices is a tricky thing to do. So, I’m up to 16,000 words of book number three and hope to get it to around 20,000 before I have to put it aside; 20,000 words is usually a really key point for me – I’m far enough into the work to have the voice right, to know a little about what the plot might be and to know that I can safely put it aside without losing the thread of what I am doing.

I’ll keep you posted on how the editing process goes and if I reach my word count goal with book number three. But for now, charge your glasses with me – here’s to signing another book contract.


  1. How exciting, congrats on getting the contract all signed and sealed! That’s fantastic news. It’s also great that you enjoy the editing process. One day if/when that happens to me I’m really not sure how I’ll handle it – I wonder if I might be a tad sensitive – but I guess I’ll be so grateful to have a publishing contract I will figure out a way to deal with it!

    Have you written any hints on your blog of what Bodies is about? I’m intrigued and would love to at least know the vague subject matter? Or is it all marked TOP SECRET? Anyway, back to your expensive champagne now!

  2. So I’ve just gone and read all the posts in the “Bodies” tag and only discovered that there is a female heart surgeon character. Is that all you’ve divulged? Tell me more!!

    • Hi Amanda, I hadn’t realised I’d written so little about it on my blog – I feel like I’m always talking about it but maybe that’s all in my head! But, you’ve inspired me – next week’s blog shall be all about Boides, about where the idea came from, the themes etc. So stay tuned (and thanks for the idea for next week’s blog; that’s one less thing to think about between now and next Monday!)

  3. Glen Hunting

    Excellent news, Natasha. Bask in the glow. 🙂

  4. oh noes! We have to wait a YEAR! I’m sure it’ll be worth every second Tash ^^
    Congratulations =)

  5. Sheldon Ang

    Hey Natasha…At the Perth Writer’s Festival, you briefed me on the story line of your second book – I’m honoured that you told me about it, way back then 🙂 Congratulations – so looking forward to it. 😉

  6. Pingback: This is how you can make your book better « While the kids are sleeping

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