I am so excited! Over the weekend I finished the main bulk of redrafting. Hooray! I’ve already explained my revision process in an earlier post, so those of you familiar will know that it has really been an epic learning-curve for me.
The first thing I did was attempt to print out the whole thing on my clunky breezeblock of a printer. Of course it ran out of black ink halfway through, and I didn’t have a new cartridge, so printing was delayed as I got on a bus to dash to nearest town for supplies. Dash probably isn’t the right objective when placed alongside the word ‘bus’, come to think of it. ‘Rumbled slowly with much deliberation’ is a better description. But once I was home again printing resumed, apart from the inevitable pause for the printer to take full advantage of the spotlight like a hammy actor - ‘agh I’m choking, I’m going to die, take this paper out of my throat agh agh’.
Eventually, despite the drama, my manuscript was printed. I beamed at it in delight. Shiny, thick, real... heavy! I am going to have to plant some trees to atone for this one day. This is the first time I have seen the whole thing printed out since I finished the first draft of the story back in March 2008. Yes I know – March 2008! My revision period has been long, but I felt I had a lot to learn to improve. I also have The Fear (of course – the fear of failure, of it being crap, of rejection – I think every writer has this. But we have to conquer it!)
So now I’m in the last stages of redrafting. Woohoo! Yesterday I took myself to a different part of the house, and settled down for the Grand Read-Through.
As you can see, the grand read-through needs some sustenance! You can also see the list I make as I read, headed Anomalies. Underneath it is another page I am compiling of acknowledgements – my story references a few quotes that need full citation. As I read through I am also editing anything that leaps to the eye – a comma here, a word change there – nothing major so far, I am pleased to report. The rigorous redrafting has helped so much – I can’t begin to describe how much the story has improved.
There are still things to do in this last stage – mainly sort out the anomalies! I am also going to create an audio file of the whole thing. I hate listening to myself but it will be fab to hear the rhythm of the words. After that any further changes will be updated, but then it will be ready to go. By the end of this stage I will have got this story as perfect as I possibly can – for now my talent goes no further. I feel I am holding the manuscript high above my head and it will need a professional agent higher than me to take it and swing it further. Can’t wait for that day! Until then I have my two furry writing coaches...