Don’t panic. I don’t mean the end of me or this blog, although I know my previous post (not counting the shared post this morning) may have left you wondering about my wellbeing. I think Christmas really stressed me out. The hype, expectation and so on. Anyway. Tis done .. for another few months before it all starts again.
I wrote to the end of my novel and typed THE END!
I was typing the final chapter with the laptop balanced on my knee as Man of the Woods drove across the England/Scotland border en route to a 3-day trip to his sister’s. They live north of the Cairngorms, so once you think you’ve got to Scotland, you’ve still three and half hours to go.
It’s been a while since I posted, and those final words to finish the first draft were what I was concentrating on, rather than posting here.
I reached 77,000 by the end.
I’ve since started a first read-through – on paper, armed with a pink pen. Not so much editing as literally reading the whole thing through as if it’s someone else’s work, to see if the story flows, asking myself if the characters ‘work’, the timings of births and deaths mentioned make sense.
I used small font, in 1.3 line spacing and used both sides of the paper to save sheets.
Approx 157 x A4 sides to ‘edit’. I aimed for 25 per day each day of last week and am presently at 127, itching to get back on the laptop but know that first I have to get back to THE END, just like I did when I was laying out the initial story.
It was incredibly powerful, how writing those two words actually turned out to be. I’d heard hundreds of times ‘just keep writing’ … ‘get to the end of the draft’ … but I always found it hard to reach when so much of what I’d written I knew needed work. However, it was liberating to visualise the final scene and get something down because they suddenly I had a whole beginning, middle and end thing going on.
The fact I am setting my final scene in Edinburg felt fitting that I should be typing that scene while we drove past it!
Lots hasn’t worked I assure you! I’ve crossed out plenty of rubbish amateur sentences which added nothing other than word-count; I’ve killed off a dog and a secondary character who brought nothing to the story.
I’m aware I shall be down on word-count once I get back on the laptop and implement the changes this coming week. However, I plan to replace lost useless words with new and relevant examples; ones which will deepen every scene as I do a second run-through.
I’ve heard authors give these editing stages correct names. I believe I’m doing them in a sensible order as I didn’t want to do the spellcheck and grammar details until a final run through or I will have potentially wasted time making improvements to paragraphs which were going to get the chop anyway!
I no longer want to call it The Key to Verona, the feedback I received last summer was spot on which said “It makes it sound historical which it’s not, and anyway, you don’t mention Verona.”
I’ve had a couple of other ideas but am following the advice of people who know about these things … leave it to see if any agent or publisher might wish to title it for me.
I love my male character, Antonio. I can see him, feel his pain and am aware what he wants from life and I know how to help him achieve it 🖤
I saw this actor play the part of Mr Oak in ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ … my God! Have you seen it? You simply must watch it. He has all the attributes that I’d written in for my Antonio. He’s quiet, respectful, focused, calm. But he’s passionate and stronger than the other two suitors in Thomas Hardy’s beautiful novel which I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read 🙈
I’m still struggling with Martha. I don’t know what she looks like, or what her attractive qualities might be to help a reader like her. Strange that …
So, what are you all reading so far in 2019?
I’m presently half way through Ali Harris’ ‘The First Last Kiss’ which is great .. a good old romantic tale of the angst of first loves and .. well, I’ll tell you when I’ve finished it!
… and my next read, has probably got to be this!
I’m hoping Matsu is not dead, and simply wearing his winter costume?!