Thursday, 8 June 2017

Stage One complete

At last the re-edit/write is now done. I've printed out 238 pages, and parcelled it up in a blue folder I bought a decade ago and never used to take with me on my holidays.
At the time I was sending submissions out to agents and wanted to impress, but soon discovered that fancy folders were a no-no among busy agents. So at last it has a use!

 The word count is now 104,740 reduced from 147k so that is a substantial reduction. After a few days break comes the read through on paper with pen and post-its to hand. Heaven knows what I'll find to correct. Anything is possible. I may need more than post it notes, though they are a fair size. I never travel without my laptop, paper etc etc etc so that won't be a problem. 

I took out the first chapter, and one or two paragraphs that I thought repetitious or that I didn't need, but the bulk of the reduction has come from removing what I call stage directions - moving to or from one position to another -  and taking out many speech tags where the action made it clear who was speaking;  generally tightening up my writing by remoing all those unnecessary words such as just, nearly, almost

A word like quickly can become a habit or a crutch word and mop up 50 or 60 uses and you never notice until you work your way through a list looking for them. I found over 200 uses of one word, but I've forgotten what that word was now. Turned, probably. My characters kept turning before they spoke or acted or sometimes even breathed. I also discovered I was one of those authors who gave advance warning and then described the action! Quelle horreur! I think I dropped that bad habit some time ago.

The pic is from our trip into Yorkshire last week. Very dramatic skies and a narrow single track road, but we got there safely and without the rain storm we suffered on our trip last year.

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