Wednesday, 31 July 2013

How Could I have Written That?

Nearing the end of  the redraft, sixth edit, polish - call it what you will, I am nearly at the end of it. What amazes me is the number of things I found to alter in what I  thought was a finished piece of work. I think it happens to all authors, because at my last local writers' group meeting, a mainstream published author said whenever she did a reading, she never read what was actually on the page, but made corrections while thinking How could I have Written That? You see it in most books these days - the odd glitch in grammar, spelling or even a missing word - or a word the computer thought you wanted but proves totally out of context!

I suppose I should go through and look for redundant words, and check for passive constructions where I could make them active. I find passive constructions easy to slip into, easy on the eye and easy to execute, but these days they are frowned upon. I blame tv and film. They've accustomed people to fast moving action with few words of dialogue. When you watch something, the setting and the action are there to see as you listen to the dialogue. But of course in a book, you need those descriptive passages in order to visualise the scene in your mind. I wonder if there is a generation growing up (or already grown?) that finds it difficult to read and visualise the scene the words describe?

I caught up with the end of The Returned last night, and wondered what on earth I'd been watching these past eight weeks. In the very last scene, I thought the town had been totally submerged, yet not one character out of the many looking out over the hillside looked surprised, or frightened or puzzled. So many questions unanswered. Was the baby still in Adele's tummy, or had it been somehow removed? Is Victor a shapeshifter?  Did he change into Serge and shoot his brother? He seems to adopt many guises.
Is he the cause of it all? I suppose I'll have to wait for the second series to find out.


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