Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The End Must be Nigh... surely?

Word count:
Book 3: about the same
Book 4: exactly the same

And now, the end is near… and thank goodness for that. Can I just say – yet again – how much I LOATHE COPY EDITS?

Again, I am not blaming the copy editor. This is not down to her: it’s down to me a) writing such bloody long books (130,000 when 100,000 or even 80,000 is perfectly adequate in my genre) and b) putting in so many redundant phrases and repetitive phrases.

I think this is taking longer because I am improving as a writer. That’s the most positive spin to put on it. I am naturally quite verbose, quite self-indulgent with words (just look at that last repetition, or ask anyone who has been in a bar with me after a few too many glasses of Merlot). The interesting question is how far that is My Unique Style (ho ho) or Total and Utter Laziness.

Another thing: capital letters. I have quite a few of those in the new book. For example (I didn’t actually write this in the book), a sentence like: It was then that I met the Official Love of My Life.

That’s not the best example, but the idea is that it’s meant as a joke. Admittedly not a very funny one (punctuation as humour. Hmmm), but it sometimes works. The copy editor clearly doesn’t agree and has taken them all out, and more besides for things like the Wishing Pond (a prop used in Brownie Guide Promise Ceremonies – there I go again. More capitals). Now is that fair enough? I can’t quite decide.

By now I guess you’re less than surprised that this process has so far taken me about ten days. I went through the text on paper and now I am going back to the Word document to put in all the tweaks and cuts: tonight I managed about a third of it, but now the letters are swimming in front of my eyes and I am going to bed. At this rate I’ll finish by the end of the week. And then I am having a lot to drink.

Next time I MUST try to hone the words as I go along. Or write less.

Lovely link of the day:
I’ve linked to author and writing coach Jacqui Lofthouse’s blog before, but I am doing it again as she’s posted a great summary of a workshop she gave at the Cheltenham Literary Festival about creating convincing characters.


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