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 clichés
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?