We’re introducing you to people who are part of the Betterwrite world. Welcome to LEE DICKINSON.
Lee, what’s your connection with Betterwrite?
I edit books here.
Tell us about your work.
I prefer developmental and line editing, getting into the heart of the creative process.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have four fiction and non-fiction books waiting to be edited or proofread, ranging from a study of the mechanics of failing nations to a health guide. When not swamped with work, I’m also writing my own genre-mashing book, The Spiral Switch.
What do you like about your work?
The variety of it, as shown above, is fascinating. Primarily, though, I love words.
What don’t you like?
People who complain about the cost of editing without appreciating its value, and bad editors who provoke that reaction.
Have you got a personal bugbear?
Telling instead of showing.
What has pleased you in your work?
Making books as good as they can be, knowing I’ve done a great job for someone who’s entrusted me with their dreams.
What didn’t please you?
The ‘race to the bottom’ on some social media platforms, where anyone can claim to be an editor. Often, it leads to the profession being devalued and discredited.
What amused you?
The client who said “You’ve saved my life.”
Whose writing do you enjoy?
The Bone Clocks.
What do you like about this author’s writing?
The scope of his plots is breathtaking.
Give us a quote.
“Words move hearts, and hearts move limbs.”
What’s your favourite word in English?
Any other quotes that are special for you?
“Start writing with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind.”
Never a wasted word.
Apart from your work, what plans or ambitions have you got?
To travel more, especially to unusual locations.
How will you do that?
I’d like to combine travelling with writing, mixing two pleasures.
What have you learned about life?
It’s too short.
What have you learned about people?
They’re the only species writing books.
Tell us something quirky about yourself.
I’m colour blind.
Finish with a story, true or false, with beginning, middle and end, up to 30, 60 or 120 words.
"You screamed murder?" he spat, brooding behind my binoculars’ cross-hairs, jabbing a black feather. "No wonder I banned you bloody birdwatchers from these fields. Very funny. You meant murder as the word for flocks of crows, didn't you?"
I lowered the lenses, hands curling into claws as I tightened, hoisted, strode at him with the last laugh he ever heard. (60)