The world of writing is a hugely interesting one. Increasingly, with the advent of eBooks, there are more facets to it all than could have been imagined not so many years ago.
Regardless of the changes, the need to write to the best of one’s ability remains paramount. In order to achieve this, I believe that one has to be constantly working on self-improvement in the craft. Of the things I feel are essential to all but the most original and highly talented minds out there, I’d suggest that reading quality work, mingling with better authors than oneself and working with talented editors can provide the bare bones of such development.
I’ve been lucky over the past few years to have been able to learn my craft from people with more ability and experience than me. I’ve had the benefit of being supported by many within the writing community and I’ve tried to keep it in mind when at the keyboard.
One key character in the process for me has been Chris Rhatigan.
I’ve worked alongside Chris in a number of ways. We’ve written a short piece together (soon to be published in a wonderful magazine), I’ve mingled with him in an editing group called Crimeficwriters and have co-edited the amazing Pulp Ink and Pulp Ink 2 with him.
What I love about working with Chris is his range of skills. He has an intuitive understanding of what a writer is trying to say and can identify ways of helping them say it better with a few slight alterations. He can work with a plot and make sure that it remains on track - where it falls off the rails, he’ll help to get it back on with the minimum of fuss. He can see the minutia as well as the big picture, from sentence level right through to a whole novel, with the skills of someone who is expert with both telescope and microscope alike. He knows how characters are and will be able to spot inconsistency or the need more detail with ease. Best of all, he’s not scared to express an honest opinion, something he can afford to do because he’s constructive and well-meaning from the off. He doesn’t do flannel, ego or pussy-footing but nor does he do assassination or clumsiness.
Needless to say, when I’ve had work that I feel I’ve finished I’ve turned to Chris for an opinion. My belief is that the work has always been better for it and that I hope I can keep him in my corner for a good while yet.
The reason I’m telling you this is that he’s recently set up his own editing service One Bullet Editing. You can check it out here and you’ll see something of his no frills approach. If you need someone to take a look at your writing and would like to team up with someone you can learn from, I reckon Chris could well be your man. Check him out at his site, look at his own writing and at the work he’s edited in the past and I’m pretty sure you’ll be convinced about his credentials. I, as one of many, have no hesitation about recommending him to you.