Thursday, 17 November 2011

Changed gear

I've finally changed gear from writing fresh stuff to editing and honing the draft. It's hard to look at words you have read dozens of times before and to see them - or hear them - afresh. I'm listening, reading and reworking the lines and paragraphs and looking out for trite phrases (clichés, it turns out, are my speciality) and especially, repetitive use of favourite words. For example, I had a scene where my male character was trying to unlock his door. How many times did I manage to use the word 'lock' in three sentences? Four. And an 'unlock'. I cut the stupid lines in the end anyway!
I have a few confusing names - a Charley and a Carly, for example. I have some very long-winded chapters of the historical strand that need to be cut into chunks and threaded better through the contemporary strand. then, at some point, it will be done, finished, finito. In theory. Then, thank goodness, it can go off into the world like a five year old you hope and pray will remember his toilet training, and I can get on with the next book. I'm getting bored with this one, now.
Another thing I have neglected big time, is my poetry. Poetry makes me use my words better, and I would really like to get a few poems published. It's a whole new writing muscle, though, and there's a course at the Open College of the Arts which would be very useful. Something to work on once the book is out there.
Oh, and a very big thank you to Beth, who has read the book and fed back some useful stuff. More description of my characters - how many times have I heard that these last few weeks! 


  1. I'm glad my feedback was of use! It's such a great story!

  2. Thank you, Beth, and thank you so much for reading it. I hope I can do he same for you at some point!

  3. It's amazing how many times we can read something and not catch repetition or unnecessary words. I use "just" far too often.

    I find reading aloud helps me.

    Well done you Reb!

  4. Hi Downith, my favourite seems to be 'really'. These qualifiers aren't even that useful!

  5. Do you use the Find thingy in Word for repetitions? Most handy!

  6. I do, Boz! On a few occasions, it has come up with 'too many matches...'. I'm slowly working my way through the manuscript, and there are still hundreds of stupid errors - it's depressing. Are you writing at the moment?