Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Author Confidential

Ssh! Top Secret! Don’t Tell Anyone!

Jo Franklin, author of Help! I’m an Alien and Help! I’m a Genius, reveals the things authors don’t want their readers to know.

Authors never get it right first time. They make loads of mistakes before their stories are turned into the books you buy in the shops. I write the first draft long hand and my notebook looks a bit like this.

Once I’ve typed up what I have written, I rip out the pages and throw them away. I have a wastepaper basket beside my desk. At the end of the writing day it is full of screwed up pieces of paper covered in words that weren’t quite right. Also, hopefully, I have some words typed up on-the computer that are right – at least for now. After many wastepaper baskets of scrap paper, I’ll finish the first draft. Typing ‘The End’ is very satisfying. But it isn’t the end at all, it is just the beginning.

I have to re-work those words many times before I feel the book is finished enough to send to my editor at the publishers. It is the editor’s job to turn my manuscript into a book and that usually means making more changes. I work closely with the editor until we are both satisfied that the manuscript is as good as we can both make it. 
Sometimes that editor is not in the UK. My first two books are only available in Germany. So they had to be translated as well.
Help! I’m an Alien took three years from when I wrote ‘The End’ for the first time to being a published book.

 So next time you are writing a story, don’t worry if you make a mistake. Take time to choose exactly the right word every time. Stand back and read what you have written. Change the words if you want to. It’s your story. Make it the best you can.

Writing a great story takes time.

Writing a great book takes even longer. 

But it’s worth it. I love it.

You can find out more about me and my writing on my website