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!