Monday, 28 June 2010

A stranger in a foreign land...

I've just pressed send on the chapter being subbed for my M&B editor slot at the conference. I haven't been to NTAI (not thinking about it) country for a good while and to be honest the journey has been so knackering I am genuinely not NTAI. Having already been welcomed by a friendly fellow resident (waves to Jackie) I'm ready for a hot bath and bed.
I've weeded enough 'felt's out of my chapter to make several cuddly toys and have spent more time on a one page synopsis than a sane person ever should (Hmm, is that why I'm mad I wonder? All those one pagers?)
I love the story but battling errant 'voice to text' software, acquired dyslexia and a permanent headache to get it into some sort of reasonable format has been exhausting.
I still want to do it, I can't not do it so I have to find some way of making it work, even though it's so much harder. It reminds me of toothache - when it strikes it makes you wonder why you didn't value that great long period of time when your teeth weren't hurting.

If you're still pulling teeth, sorry I meant writing your synopsis, here's a good tip I received recently - remember it should be selling your story to the appropriate line. I got so fixated on making my plot fit to one page I forgot to use it as a selling tool.

Oh and here's the editing checklist I use:

1. Check for clich├ęs

2. Check the following and replace if possible: was, felt, just, that, actually, began to, started, he/she felt, though, observed.

3. Reduce adverbs

4. Cut any pairs of adjectives

5. Check for repetitions, choose the best and lose the rest

6. Don’t show AND tell

7. Cut unnecessary repetition of tense – I’d, she’d…

8. Look for repeated words and use thesaurus

9. Make characters take note of surroundings, create a sense of place

10. Use all the senses

11. Eat chocolate :-)

Has anyone else got any suggestions to add to my checklist?

5 comments:

Lacey Devlin said...

Eat chocolate! Love it! It's a great list and you're such a trooper Lorraine. Your story is so inspiring!

I'm isolated where I live so without the funds to fly myself around the world I don't get to the conferences, except in my dreams ;) I was wondering how the editor slot works? I'm assuming it's something you book into and have to send a chapter and synopsis to someone ahead of time? I'm fascinated, and in your shoes I'd probably be hyperventilating in the kitchen cupboard... here's to NTAI.

Jackie Ashenden said...

Hi m'dear! *waves back* Like Lacey said, you're an absolute trooper. It's hard work without the headache and dyslexia so doing it WITH those things must be so difficult.
But I'm sure the ed will see what a great story it is and give you some fab advice.
In the meantime, pull up a chair, have a chocolate martini and just enjoy being in NTAI land.:-)

Oh and for the checklist - make sure the synopsis shows the development and resolution of the romance. Cos that's what it's all about eh? ;-)

Kay Tee said...

With all that determination, your work is sure to shine :-)

One thing you might want to check out is the AutoCrit Editing Wizard. It automatically finds many of the things you mention in your checklist, saving you from having to comb through the text yourself. It might save a headache or two!

Suzanne Jones said...

Love that list - particularly no. 11.

XX

Sally Clements said...

Ooh! Love the thought of the autocrit editing wizard! Sort of Harry Potter for writers... Have a lovely conference, Lorraine, I'll be with all of you guys in spirit (which means I'll be drinking Baileys and sulking at home)