The Guardians of Eastgate

Book 1 of The Seers Series

Should You Edit While You Write?

Should You Edit While You Write?

Many first-time writers wonder if they should edit during the writing process. The simple answer, and the resounding consensus that you will hear online and in books, is NO.


Writing is an art. It is a creative process where you bring your story to life.


Writing is an art. It is a creative process where you bring your story to life. Editing, on the other hand, is more of a logical and methodical process, where you are looking at things like sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and the like.

I have read articles that claim that writing and editing use different areas of the brain, and if you try to do both at the same time it can be detrimental to the creative process. I have read other articles that say you actually use both the logical and the creative when writing.

I believe that the latter is true, but that the importance lies in what you are most focusing on in different stages of the writing and editing processes.

The general advice…is to put your nose to the grindstone and focus on getting your first draft done before moving on to the editing process.




The general advice is to put your nose to the grindstone and focus on getting your first draft done before moving on to the editing process. Of course, you are going to use some logic in plotting and structuring your book, but world, character, and story building – in other words, the creative aspect – will be your priority during the writing stage.

Once you go back to edit, you are going to focus on the details, such as spelling, grammar, structure, and so on, to make your creation as accurate and appealing as possible. It’s the cutting and polishing of the diamond you’ve just made.

There are certainly many benefits to approaching writing in this way. There will likely be less time to spend on worry and self-doubt as you just get your thoughts down on paper. Your mind will be focused on the story itself, thus allowing the story to flow naturally.


Is going back and re-reading the same as editing?


But what if you’ve been away from your book for some time due to work or family responsibilities or illness? Should you go back and read what you’d written previously? Is going back and re-reading the same as editing?

It depends on what your focus and goals are when you go back. If you go back and pick at the grammar and look for plot holes, for example, you would be venturing into the editing area. Try and stay away from the urge to do this before the first draft of your manuscript is complete.

To use myself as an example, I have a full-time day job where I often take work home with me. I also have two young children. There are times when I have to be away from my work-in-progress (WIP) for some time. Because of this, I will often go back and re-read sections of what I have written.

I do this to get back into the world of the novel, to re-acquaint myself with my characters, and to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything that I could accidentally contradict going forward (this can happen more easily than you might think when you are writing 70,000 words plus).

What I don’t do at this point is any line, content, or structural editing. I don’t nit-pick the grammar, fact check, or edit the content. I will leave these for after I have completed the first draft.

Of course, it goes without saying that everyone is different, and what works for most may not work for all. And that’s okay. The general advice, as I said above, is to approach the crafting of your story and the editing of your story in different passes, and this seems to work well for me.

In the end though, you need to find a process that works for you personally, and you will find it with time and practice.


In the end … you need to find a process that works for you personally, and you will find it with time and practice.



*All Images in this post are free photos from:

Sherry Leclerc is a science fiction and fantasy fanatic who lives in magical realms where swords and sorcery,

action and adventure, seers, shifters and sorcerers abound.


Click on the image to read my previous blog posts


Click to sign up for my author newsletter and recieve a FREE copy of my short story collection, THE GUARDIANS OF STERRENVAR


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Guest Post: LITERARY AWARDS for the LITTLE GUYS by James Gault


Last month, we published a survey of the main literary awards available to authors from the large established publishing houses. But how can new independent authors get artistic recognition for their work? The good news is that there is a wide range of competitions open to books from small independent publishers, including self-publishers. There is of course bad news: there is an entry fee for just about all of them, the prizes are small, and they don’t benefit from the wide publicity given to the likes of the Man Booker prize or the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Vox Lit wants to publicise these less well-known events. Not just because we love to champion the Davids against the Goliaths, or because we firmly believe that good quality innovative writing exists outside the closed world of the big names. We really want readers to know about these awards, and hopefully seek out the winners and short-listed authors and at least consider buying and reading their books. If we can encourage readers everywhere to expand their horizons, we’ll have done a good job in keeping the written word alive, flourishing and developing.

Most of the competitions are run by US organisations, and we’ve only found one currently active in the UK. The Rubery Book Award claims to be ‘the self-publishers’ and independent publishers’ answer to the MAN Booker Prize and the Costa Prize’. It offers awards in five categories (Non Fiction, Young Adult, Short Story, Fiction and Children’s) and the entrance fee is £36. You can find more on this competition at

In 2017, Amazon UK ran its Kindle Storyteller Award (more at the link below.) This was open to all previous unpublished books published on KDP, and unusually it had a significant prize (£20,000). Unfortunately, there is no sign so far of it being repeated in 2018. )

That about wraps it up for the UK, but if any of our readers know of other UK competitions please use the comments box to let us know.

While there seems to a paucity of UK awards, authors who live in the US are spoiled for choice, and we have included only a small selection here. And ,even if you are based in another country, these competitions tend to be open to all English speaking authors who have their work on sale in the USA.

The Benjamin Franklin Awards, run by the Independent Book Publishers Association, offers a comprehensive publicity package to winners but no cash prize. Authors don’t have to be a member of the Association to enter, but it will cost them a whopping $225 as opposed to the $95 entry fee for members. The link is .

The IPPY awards (  ) is another competition where the winners benefit only from publicity, with no direct injection  of cash into their pockets.

Eric Hoffer Award ( ) does offer a cash prize for the winner, $2000, and the entry fee is a more reasonable $55 (chapbooks $40). There is also the publicity benefit, as the award is covered by the US Review of Books.

The Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group organise the Next Generation Indie Book Awards ( ) with cash prizes of up to $1500 in many categories. Authors pay from $75 to enter this one.

Shelf Unbound book review magazine runs a competition with a prize of $500 and an entrance fee of $50 per title. Over 100 of the best entries will receive publicity in the magazine. The link is .

For a $50 fee, writers can enter the Best Indie Book (BIB) Awards ( ) where the prize is a package of publicity goodies rather than hard cash. The goody bag includes a rather smart digital winner’s medal that authors can put on their web pages and book covers.

Finally, in this far from comprehensive list, we’d like to mention the The Kindle Book Awards from the Kindle Book Review website. This offers winners in eight genre classes a publicity package similar to BIB and the added benefit of cash prizes up to $750, for an entrance fee of $29.

Our survey talks about only some of what is available, but for writers and readers wanting to know of more competitions, there is a fuller list published by the Alliance of Independent Authors at . This survey not only lists awards, but it rates them as well, so a big thanks to the authors of this page.

So there it is: a list of some literary awards you may never have heard of. Let us encourage you, as a reader or writer, to follow up on these competitions and widen your knowledge. It’s the best way to  participate in the fascinating and engrossing book world of the twenty-first century.

Acknowledgements: Thank you to Erica Verrillo  from  ‘Curiosity Never Killed the Writer’ (web site for her useful article on US awards.

Contributed by James Gault



James Gault

James Gault is an author of short stories, novels and English Language textbooks. He lived, worked and taught for many years in Prague, but now lives and continues to write in the South of France.

He also runs the blog Vox Lit, where authors post comments by their characters on aspects of real life.

His latest novel, The Redemption of Anna Petrovna, is due for release shortly.


Visit James Gault on Amazon Author Central:

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About The Guardians of Eastgate: Seers Book I (Second Edition)



An ancient evil threatens the future of the realm of Sterrenvar. A race of people called seers has appointed themselves Guardians of the Realm, guarding the safety of their world and all the people in it. Maelona Sima is one of four seer champions tasked with protecting the four keystones from evil forces that wish to destroy them, thus leaving an immeasurable magical force free to be used against the realm’s inhabitants. Yet Maelona is more than a seer. She is unique in her world, and she is the best hope of survival for the people of Sterrenvar…the very people who once hunted down and killed many of the seer people out of fear and mistrust. Protecting the keystones is the first line of defense against the evil sorcerer who wishes to enslave the realm. Can Maelona, a guardian of the keystone at Eastgate, and her friends Blaez, a wolf shifter, and Gareth, a human prince, bring together their peoples to save Eastgate from destruction in this first book of the Seers series?



Book Launch Event! 

Where:  The Bookshelf eBar, 41 Quebec St., Guelph

When: Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 4:00pm.

Join me for a celebratory gathering, including food, a reading from

The Guardians of Eastgate, giveaways, and book signing!

The Guardians of Eastgate will be available for purchase at a special event price!

 Come join me for food and fun!

The Guardians of Eastgate is now available to purchase locally in the Waterloo and Guelph regions at the bookstores below. Click on the images to visit the store websites:


The Guardians of Eastgate: Book 1 of The Seers Series, has won a Literary Titan Gold Award!  Check out the awards page here.













The Second Edition of The Guardians of Eastgate, Book 1 of The Seers Series, is now available
on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble, in print and eBook formats!

Click the image to link to the book on


Click the images to link to the book on those websites



Click the widget at the bottom of the page to link to the book on Smashwords

Click on the image to sign up for my author newsletter, and recieve a FREE copy of my short story collection, The Guardians of Sterrenvar




Come wander the magical world of Sterrenvar, where swords & sorcery,

action & adventure, seers & shifters all await you.


Guided tours now available at online booksellers.