Do not be tempted by the offer of ‘good coffee’. Good coffee is a bad literary device...
And then I blinked and wondered what on earth I was thinking! Is this proof that redrafting has finally sent me bonkers?
Good news is that I have finished the edits from the final print out (or rather, draft eight). Since then I have been tackling four pages of ‘anomalies’ (pictured below) – these are general queries and questions about the story for me to answer / sort out / ponder upon.
For example – some of these anomalies were changing character names. A lot of the time I will think a name goes really well together and sounds really good in my head, only to discover that it’s the name of a 1980s TV presenter, or my old junior school teacher, or a friend’s ex-boyfriend. I remember once an old novel idea of mine that had the name ‘Andy McNab’ in it, as I thought the name sounded good, and then I realised I’d obviously seen it in a book shop / newspaper somewhere! (Andy McNab being a best-selling action author.) So I have to doubly check the names I have used. There’ll be more on the topic of anomalies later!
Another thing I have been doing is recording an audio version of my story. Oh my. There are a couple of reasons for this – one being to speak the words aloud and see how true they sound, the other to listen and gauge if it all hangs together and works well on the ear. Sadly I have to also listen to my voice! Who is that girl with the odd accent? I feel I need to do some vocal warm ups, whatever they are. My dodgy voice aside, this was a really excellent idea. I cannot stress it enough. There were a lot of superfluous words creeping in the body of my text – even in the beginning chapters – which I hadn’t spotted before, but after listening I could safely take out them out without compromising the story. Managed to prune 800 words from the first three chapters – and I was thinking those puppies were done and dusted! Just goes to show I must never get that complacent. I have only recorded the beginning chapters for now, but will go over the whole book in time.
You'll be pleased to hear that my furry writing coaches have been hard at work keeping me focused by snoozing on all my important papers. Even better than that, Ginger kindly let himself be an additional work surface when I was running out of room.
I just cannot go wrong with writing coaches like that! Helpful, cuddly, and always sitting on the thing I want to find. Like homing beacons. Although I am starting to get paranoid that my eventual queries will be sent out with bonus cat hair.