When I asked for suggestions for editorial services the other day, Frances came up with the name of one that I had heard of so I thought I'd look into them. However - and this is probably something to do with my age - by the time I got to looking them up I'd changed them to a completely different agency that I have also heard of. By that time it was too late though because I had already sent a 300 word sample to Jacqui Bennett, not Hilary Johnson as Frances had suggested. It's an easy mistake to make - not.
Anyway I am getting to the crux of the post. I have heard back from Doug who was the poor bloke unlucky enough to get my sample and after the explanation of what his marks and squiggles meant, and saying that it was almost "flawless" grammatically (should be considering I've only gone over it a million times) this is what he said:
"It’s not clear to me at this stage whether this is fiction or non-fiction, but whichever it is, you’ve set up the framework of your story extremely well, with a tremendous amount of mystery and panicky apprehension accompanying the narrator’s sudden blindness. Strangely, there’s almost a breathless excitement in the air as his or her anxiety creases. This sort of writing, early on, has the potential to involve your readers, and so they are more likely to keep turning the pages."
So I should be pleased, you think? No I am sceptical. I mean I know (as do you all because I've told you often enough) that I love BTL but here's someone else telling me that the first 300 words at least aren't bad and I can't help thinking - really?
So now I'm thinking is Doug telling the truth and maybe there is potential in my book (there is massive potential in my head but this is the real world) or is he just saying that because he wants me to buy the full service?
I will just clarify though that I in no way mean to impugn Doug's professional integrity, it is just me returning to type i.e. a cynic.