This week I'd like to welcome the lovely Victoria Milne to Feature Friday…
Thank you, RJ, for inviting me to take part in your Feature Friday, I’m excited to be here.
Hi everyone! To those of you wondering who I am, I’m a freelance editor and author of The Strawberry Farm and Writer’s Lock.
Last Saturday I took part in a publishing weekend as one of the speakers, and shared my editing tips and traps to a very large room of people. It got me thinking about how much things have changed over the past few years—it’s been massive for me. I’d like to share some of my story with you, and all I ask is that you try not to laugh too hard at the misconceptions I’ve had along the way. It’s been a seriously steep learning curve!
I’ve heard so many people say they always knew they wanted to be a writer, and I wish I could say the same… but this isn’t even close to the truth for me. I’ve always loved reading but didn’t have my revelation about the joys of writing fiction until I was 34—6 years ago.
Those 6 years have been a whirlwind. For a long time, I felt like I was trying to catch up for all those missed years. I think last weekend was the first time I’d stopped to properly take stock of how far I’d come.
Non-writers often assume that writing fiction is easy—and I was guilty of the same view. That was until I proudly presented my “book” to a friend, who was an English teacher, and asked her what she thought. Now this book, I’m thankful to say, will never see the light of day! Bored one day, I’d decided to write a novel, so off I typed, and after two months had 70,000 words of a completed novel. Had I studied writing in any capacity… nope, did I think my book was wonderful and perfectly written… yep! That was, at least, until my wonderful friend gave me the single most important piece of feedback I’ve ever had: it will never be a masterpiece. It may sound harsh, but she meant it kindly, and sometimes the truth can sting a little and then lead us to better things.
After getting over my initial shock and disbelief, I thought about her words. I trusted her completely and knew that if this was something I wanted to pursue, I had to figure out exactly where I’d gone wrong and what I needed to learn. The writing bug had finally taken hold and the stubborn streak in me accepted the challenge.
I’ll be honest, it’s been tough—as all writers I’m sure will understand. I literally started from scratch with a huge pile of grammar books, but studying the craft of writing and then training to be an editor were two of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I’ve loved every agonizing second of it!
Victoria is a freelance editor by day and a writer by night. Having experienced many different jobs over the years (including working as a beauty therapist, an accounts assistant, and a lap counter at a go-kart track), she's pretty sure she now has the best job in the world!
A firm believer that consensual love should come without labels and without prejudice, these themes often appear in her stories, as do Victoria's passions for cooking and loud music (often simultaneously). It was no surprise when food and music began to resonate in her writing, frequently taking centre stage, and rather than fighting it she's learned to accept and enjoy that these will always be indispensable elements in her work.
Although Victoria appreciates that stories don't always have to have happy endings, hers always do—because everybody deserves to find their true love(s).
Purple Method, Victoria’s third novel, will be out later this year.
Victoria is a member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) and her prices for editing start from £3 for 1,000 words. She also offers a blurb and synopsis writing service.