22. Getting Feedback

Posted By matthew on Feb 12, 2016

SH!T Sandwhich

Getting Feedback – The Sh*t Sandwich: This term was suggested by a friendly writer I know to describe the lovely layers of fluffy praise offered by editors in hope of disguising the unsavoury feedback within. The sucker punch I mentioned in my earlier post #20 about book 2 draft 1.

Sadly, this proved to be the case for my second draft too. Despite my editor’s effusive assurances that I’d done ‘great work’, and that the line edits he’d send me were ‘very minor’, the sandwich inevitably arrived with a less palatable filling:


‘Could you just have a think about injecting a little extra pace/peril into the first 100 pages or so? But it’s really not that much, you’ve done a great job!’

Easy to say. Harder to do.

Just roll up your sleeves, strip down the first third of the book like a car, lay out the parts, clean them up and try to put it back together in a different order, with no instructions and fewer parts, all in the hope of generating more horsepower.

I got this

It may sound as if i have a gripe with all this, but in fact I don’t. My editor is wonderful, enthusiastic, insightful and driven to make the book the best it can be. The sandwich isn’t sh*t at all; it’s truth, wrapped in kind words. And, as I’ve said before, each edit makes it better.

So, another five months on, nearly a year after delivering the first draft, I submitted the third at the beginning of December 2015. Unfortunately, as it’s transpired, too close to Christmas for it to get read. Two months later, fingernails much bitten, the final news from my editor arrived yesterday and…

He loves it!

And after an extended pause, can I just get all the typos, final tweaks and recommendations sorted overnight so he can rush it to a copyeditor today!

So here I am, bleary-eyed and ecstatic. I think my hopes of the book being published in time for Crimefest’16 and the Greenwich Book Festival in May’16 are probably unrealistic now, but I’ll keep you posted. Your patience, if I have it, is appreciated.

The final thing to do is agree a title. It’s currently on its fourth. But that’s another story…