Wednesday 14 September 2022

Drafts 14, 15 and 16 - does it ever end?

 Mistakes, Editing, School, Red Ink

There's always something else 

Draft 14 Kill off Your Darlings

This is where you get rid of the purple prose and the scenes that stick out like a sore thumb because they’re written in a different register.  Fortunately I didn’t find too much as I worked my way through.

Draft 15 Overall flow

This means reading out loud.  We used to have a cat and she was quite useful. If she walked away bored it probably meant my voice had become monotonous and that in turn meant I was bored with what I was reading. If I were bored surely the reader would be too?  

It is really good to read out loud.  You notice typos, missing words and extra words you’ve probably not noticed in any other edit. You also notice whether you’ve used pronouns too much or too little to replace proper nouns. You will find the odd awkward phrase. You will also notice in this edit more than in any other where you have the right balance of shorter and longer sentences.  Does the text scan well?

Draft 16 Presentation

I now compile my work with Scrivener. So now I’m working on a Word document. Scrivener sometimes misses extra spaces, missing spaces and duplicated words. Word picks up a few more spelling oddities – for example the blue line showing you that you’ve a word that’s spelt correctly but not for this meaning or that ought  to by hyphenated or written as two words and of course also where two words should be written as one. .

I’m tidying up the titles as well. Each chapter tittle should say Chapter X: place time. I’m only giving months, not days. If more than one place occurs in a chapter, I’m naming it after the main one. So, although Jamie is in Llangwm for some of one chapter it is called “Willow Farm” as about two thirds of the chapter is taken up by her interview at the farm.      


Even at this late stage I’ve noticed a few extra things:

There was some inconsistency in how many interviews Jamie had had for farm work, I’ve now settled on four.

Helga’s Aryan lover Eberhard helps them a lot as she and her friends hide under the town centre.  We only see a little of this. I realise I need to bring in more.     


What does your editing process look like? 


Sunday 4 September 2022



Defiance, Defy, Oppose, Disobey, Stop

As you may have seen form an earlier post I have just finished reading a book that involved three British girls in some form of resistance and a fourth in map work. One girl was involved as a double agent spying on Nazi sympathisers in Britain, another worked directly with the French Resistance and a third was involved in SOE.  

There is the Resistance, the French resistance of which we have probably all heard.

There was also the German resistance.  It actually existed as early as 1933. The Church resisted and some people associated with various churches also hid Jewish people. People such as these figure in the Schellberg novels. Attempts to assassinate Hitler were made in 1939 and 1943. And Käthe Edler may have also managed it if she’d thought quickly enough.  Students formed the White Rose Association from spring of 1942. They distributed flyers protesting about the Nazi regime. Jews themselves protested in the Rosenstrasse march in spring 1943. There is now a museum dedicated to this. You can read all about it here.

There is also a gentler form of resistance in that people didn’t quite comply.  Hans Edler always said “Heil Edler” instead of “Heil Hitler”. Renate’s teachers kept her safe for a while.  Several people kept Jews safe.  Again they figure in the Schellberg cycle.

How are we currently doing on resistance? What are we resisting? Personally I’m horrified at the attempted meddling with human rights.

Are there currently any Russian people resisting what is happening in the Ukraine?  

Friday 2 September 2022

Never Forget You by Jamila Gavin


Dodo, Gwen, Noor and Vera meet at boarding school.  Just before the outbreak of World War II.   Dodo’s parents live in Germany and are Nazi sympathisers. Gwen acts as narrator and is at school because her parents live in India. Noor is from India, daughter to a Sufi philosopher and sees fairies.  Vera is Jewish.  Her parents and younger brother have been seized by the Nazis. She lives with her aunt and uncle in Paris.    

Noor’s story is partly true.  The other characters are fictional.

Dodo dies when she becomes involved in the rescue form Dunkirk. She has been working as a spy, looking into the work of Nazi sympathisers.

Gwen tells us very little about her work but it is top secret and involves maps.      

Noor becomes a member of SOE – Special Operations Executive. She works with the Resistance in France but is captured and executed.

Vera works for the Resistance in Paris and is very involved in forging documents in order to allow Jews to escape the Nazis.

There is some romance for all four girls and an upbeat ending for Gwen and Vera.   

This is a very long read – 500 pages of blocked text. There is a short note at the end about Noor Inayat Khan