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?