I am now getting very close to being able to send this out into the world. I may even enter it for another competition – it is already in one. It gets harder and harder to edit objectively. Yes, it seems to have pace to me. But have I limited what I mean by pace? Am I just adhering to my own take on this? Tension mounts in all three strands of the story. I’ve noticed the chapters get shorter as this happens. Then right at the end they become longer again – but not as long as at the beginning. This seems to be a quite natural rhythm.
Point of view is always easier to deal with and I think I’m now quite good at getting this right. I hope it’s not just a matter of what an experienced published writer said to me recently. “Creative writing teachers always like to talk about point of view because it is easy to deal with.” Is it? Maybe. But hard, at first, to get right, surely? I’m actually a fan of using close third person narratives and also often use first person for young adult books. I have two different third person narratives in this and use first person for the letters. Two of the German girls and their teacher actually also have close third person chapters. However, I’m still puzzled as to why it seems right to refer to Hani’s mother as Frau Gödde a lot of the time. It just does. I guess that happens sometimes. Something works just because it does.
Bizarrely I now notice I have changed a surname and the name of a school part of the way through. Although I’ve checked for logistics, I now doubt whether one character has continuity. It just goes to show that we can edit forever and ever and how important it is to get a good objective copy edit and proof read before publication.