Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

A good day for writing

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Hubby went back to college last Wednesday and I settled down to edit. Inserts 8, 9, 9a and 9b (probably an average 1000-word insert chopped into bits), insert 10 and chapters 9 and 10 were completed. There were hardly any hand written notes on the paper copy and I didn’t make many changes onscreen. Does this mean this section of the book is flawless? Or did I edit them in the same frame of mind in which I wrote them so couldn’t see what needed to change?

This morning I continued with Chapter 11. I had written: ‘There’s not much in this chapter; it’s space filling – need something to happen,’ at the top. There were few other notes and those that there were, towards the end of the chapter, I ignored. On starting to read I realised I had attributed speech and behaviour to the wrong character. In order to address this I had to cut and re-order; the tenor of the chapter changed, and the notes became redundant. At the end of it all, I’m left wondering whether the chapter needs to go. As one of my characters says in Chapter 1, Chapter 11 has become “a study in avoidance.” And I’m relying once again on the read through of the second draft to resolve all my dithering and indecision.

One difference I’ve noticed between on-screen and on-paper editing is the typos – they are much easier to spot on paper. I don’t know whether it’s to do with the speed of reading, but on-screen I skip over the missing r’s (e.g., ‘you mother’s’ instead of ‘your mother’s’) and the d’s that have fallen off the ends of words (“Are you tire?’) as easily as the spell check.

While I seem to be zipping through my chapters, time has sped up again and it’s the end of April. When questioned at Easter by one of my guinea pig readers, I said the story wouldn’t be ready to read until the summer and so I’m glad summer is a season that can stretch quite easily into mid-September.

Written by Sarah Ann

April 25, 2012 at 10:10 am

Posted in About writing

Tagged with , , , , ,

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